Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Keep learning and never look back. Continuous learning, of any kind, will keep the brain fires burning, advancements ongoing, and respect by others increasing.

Many employees, especially those in the lower ranks, think of training as a burden. Something “extra” they have to do. These are the people that aren’t going anywhere in your organization. You can always improve yourself through learning and education no matter who you are or how much you already know (or think you know). Socrates said, “There is only one thing I know, and that is I know nothing”.

Learning doesn’t have to take the form of sitting in a classroom. It can be a class online (free at http://www.gcflearnfree.org/) or just reading books or magazines. Doing this keeps your mind active. I hear all the time from people that they don’t have the time or attention span to sit and read an entire book. That’s fine. Subscribe to a couple of magazines. These days, a lot of magazines are even available as digital editions online for free (http://www.successmtgs.com/mimegasite/index.jsp). You flip through the pages on the computer as if you actually have a copy in your hand.

Organizations want knowledgeable employees and employees that want to improve upon themselves. In the workplace, there’s always more to learn. Use your down time to review SOPs, not sit and chat about what you’re planning to do next weekend. Remember, “It’s called work for a reason” (Larry Winget). Just because you read it during training doesn’t mean that you’ve necessarily retained it all. SOPs/directives/policies, whatever your organization calls them, are living documents. They’re constantly changing.

If you don’t know already, find out what the trade journals are for your occupation and subscribe to one. Or, if you don’t want to put out the money, go to your local library or company library. You’ll be surprised by what’s there that you probably had never heard of before. Seek out your professional associations online. They always have a wealth of information about what's going on and what's coming up. Although you may have to pay to join, it’s a great way to network.

Continuous learning may require some discipline. If you need to, set aside a specific time each day to read. The key sometimes is to just do it. Your future depends on it.

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