Always be Learning! I have mentioned LEARNING several times in my blog and thought that I would devote a separate post on this vital subject. The business world and for that matter ALL fields of study is changing rapidly. There is new expertise arriving daily in some industries. Similar to medical breakthroughs and the rapid advances in the technology sector advances & noticeable change in all areas of business is occurring frequently.
Think about separate business functions such as manufacturing, marketing, training, human resources, IT departments,purchasing, shipping etc…. This is just a sampling and I’m sure that you can come up with more but in each of these departments change is inevitable which will require a “Lifetime of Continuous Learning” to not only excel but to stay abreast of the developments. You will not be successful if you do not commit to a process of continual learning!
Many of us graduate with advanced degrees and think that are education is complete. We are the future and we have all the answers…Wrong! Leading companies who are setting the pace today are pioneering change. They are using significant resources to maximize the continuing education of their employees. Individuals as well are using various resources to help them become more knowledgeable in their industry. Think about various professions such as your family doctor. Would you go to a physician who does not keep up to date with medicine? Most professionals need re-certification on a scheduled basis... Nurses, Lawyers, Teachers, Architects, Hair Stylists, Construction Workers...why do so many business managers fail to upgrade their skills?
Below are several ideas that you can use to make sure that you are "up to speed" with the rapidly changing landscape in your industry.
Take advantage of any educational programs that your company may have. This may include formal study or occasional conferences.
- Join Professional Groups
- On-line research [commit to one new topic weekly]
- Write a journal/blog
- Join appropriate Networking organizations
- Trade Associations
- Day-long workshops
- Weekend seminars
- Attend Local Lectures
- Traditional Class Room Study
- Professional Development Courses
- Certification programs
- Mentor programs
- Teach at a local school
- Volunteer to do a career day
The bottom line…Always be Learning and commit yourself to adopt a lifestyle that schedules in a time for you to upgrade your skills regularly.