It’s not always easy to stay engaged and passionate about one’s job, but what if there was one thing you could focus on that could potentially transform your working hours? Adopting a learning mindset can keep people engaged and excited. It could stimulate the brain and even stave off the effects of aging and boost mental health. Shifting your approach could enhance employability, facilitating the acquisition of current knowledge and in-demand skills. So what are some practical steps anyone can take to unleash the benefits in their workplace? These simple strategies could see everyone leveraging ongoing self-education and turn a job into a place of endless upskilling opportunities.
The learning mindset
Ending up with the right mindset requires not only a shift in perspective but also practical action steps. This means changing how you look at work and frame things in the office. It also involves concrete actions that can be cultivated like habits. To start, you need to commit to learning new things every day. Being receptive is a key element and could entail the practice of metacognition and mindfulness, for example. Stay present and aware of opportunities to learn, extract insights, seek feedback, and ask questions.
Keeping a to-learn list is another tactic to remind oneself to capitalize on every chance to further understanding. Think of topics you’d like to know about and write them down. Possible resources could be books, articles, company knowledge systems or databases, desktop research, talking to subject matter experts at work, or even going out there and doing market research yourself. At the same time, it’s essential to be realistic about schedules. Re-prioritizing personal and professional commitments can be necessary to free up time to learn and reflect. Getting creative can also free up time. For example, use workouts and commutes to listen to useful podcasts and audiobooks.
It’s not surprising one of the best ways to keep growing and learning is formally becoming a student. Proactively seek out available training programs. Even experts in a given field can benefit from updating and diversifying their expertise, in addition to connecting with other experts who are teachers. It’s common for organizations to provide in-house training and other types of education for their employees, with some of all of the costs covered. Online programs offer a convenient option for time-short people. However, be ready to establish a case for how the program will positively impact the business. Not only is there the advantage of skills updates; you’ll have an additional qualification on the resume, which could boost employability in the future. A new certification could also improve confidence and performance.
Viewing people as teachers
Another effective strategy is to view clients, colleagues, mentors, and bosses as teachers. One possible way is to shadow someone from another area of the organization. Additionally, look for ways to join discussions and at-work networks that provide access to fresh ideas, experiences of others, and perspectives. Join company social media groups and participate in gatherings and meetings. Ask to sit in on meetings you’d otherwise not be a part of. Visit other branches, departments, or offices in the company and make connections where relevant to your role. Don’t hesitate to approach colleagues with diverse experience for advice and insights, and welcome them to connect for other discussions in the future. Make a lunch appointment with a client to find out what they need, how they can be better served, and what they think. This strategy enables the drawing on of a valuable resource – the organization’s labor pool – and can reinforce stronger working relationships simultaneously.
Nothing stretches one’s mental muscles quite like tackling a fresh challenge. Volunteer for a project or role that provides an opportunity to gain extra competencies and pushes oneself out of comfort zones. Trying something completely new might feel intimidating, but it’s also an excellent approach for enriching skill sets and competencies. However, be aware of boundaries and don’t overstep the culture. It’s best to find a project that keeps getting put off or hasn’t been assigned yet. The novelty of challenge can force individuals to think faster and be more creative. The process can be a reward in itself, but successfully completing a novel project increases employability and the prospect of further responsibilities, pay raises, and promotions.
Ultimately, to learn at work sparks greater meaning and deeper experiences. In other words, it helps people grow as a professional and as a person. The process of gaining knowledge and skills, and the shift to a receptive mindset can be amazing rewards in themselves. Individuals could experience greater engagement, fulfillment, and enjoyment. It could lead to shifting from a reactive, change-averse perspective to an empowered proactive, change-ready viewpoint. This can make individuals more resilient, agile, and responsive in an ever-changing economy subject to disruption and uncertainty. The strengthening of confidence, increased employment prospects, and other associated benefits could end up as just extra perks along the journey.