By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
Think back to your first job. You were prepared to work hard. But most importantly, you were ready to learn because everything isn’t clear when you begin. Challenges and obstacles are unpredictable, but the ability to learn grows as your experience on the job increases. The sooner you can adapt to these changes, the quicker you fast-track your career and gain a promotion.
However, learning is the main obstacle affecting job performance. Without a willingness to admit there’s room to grow and improve, you hinder your ability to succeed. Your inclination to learn is imperative to your career and crucial to a business’ ability to stay afloat.
To impress your employer, align your enthusiasm towards gaining valuable experience in solving professional problems. Stay engaged and willing to learn rather than stagnant with your current abilities, as this will create a drastic distinction between yourself and coworkers. Here’s how you can identify where your willingness to learn falls short.
FILL IN THE GAPS
Answers are at our fingertips. Search engines such as Yahoo, Google, Siri and Alexa provide us with various sources and articles for any question we have. This is the fastest and easiest way our brain is trained to gain knowledge. When given the option to choose a source for information, individuals chose the internet 56% more often than television, news and radio — this speaks to our reliance on technology to learn new things. You don’t know how to export a document to a PDF? Google it. If you don’t know how to tie your tie before a big presentation, YouTube has endless how-to videos.
Although the internet is an easy solution to providing answers, individuals must use their metacognition in order to further identify what knowledge they don’t know. Metacognition focuses on how individuals critically process themselves as either thinkers or learners. Using metacognition furthers one’s ability to change and adapt their learning style.
ACCEPT PERSONAL MISTAKES
First, identify where things go wrong. This can be difficult at times as we aren’t eager to accept fault or adapt to change. When you’re unable to admit a mistake has been made, you’re unwilling to learn. From a young age, we began to believe mistakes are wrong. Your success on a quarterly math test held weight on your final grades that would later be a deciding factor in your college acceptance. You believed a mistake on that test would cost you your future.
Mistakes are inevitable and they help us learn. In fact, the average working American makes up to 118 mistakes per year in the office. These mistakes range from copying the wrong individual on an email chain to mixing personal tasks within the work day. Once these mistakes are identified, you can be strategic about how to change them. By changing your behavior in the office, you’re crafting your ability to learn on the job and getting one step closer to filling in missing knowledge.
USE CONTINUOUS LEARNING
The desire to learn and improve relies on continuous learning. This involves your self-motivation towards attaining more knowledge that will expand your opportunities and advance your skill set. Continuous learning occurs outside of the office as well. Combine knowledge gained through experience in both your personal and professional lives in order to further develop yourself.
When faced with obstacles, use continuous learning to adapt to these situations as you face change. For example, if you work in business, you’re tasked with shaping the culture for your team as well as your target customers. Because of this, you must be up-to-date speed and possess industry knowledge and developments as well as the needs of your customers.
IMPROVE THROUGH RESOURCES
In order to improve, you have to make use of your resources. Resources in the office begin with peers’ advice and guidance. Your coworkers should be helping the development of your career. Although it can be embarrassing to admit that you don’t know something, it’s important to ask questions. Managers and supervisors will trust you when their help is needed. The goals of the business must come before your personal pride and this means accepting assistance.
Lifelong learning will challenge your comfort zone so that you are able to tackle new obstacles and opportunities benefiting your career as you continue to grow and develop professionally. As your business ventures expand, your skill set will too — credit this to your willingness to learn.