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Are You Still Seeking Learning Opportunities in Your Career?

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learning opportunitiesLearning opportunities are everywhere if we just look for them. Learning from the traditional classroom or seminar situation, online reading, or from other leaders in the industry are all great ways to stimulate your brain and keep your hand on the latest information.

However, so many in the middle years of their career life have stopped looking for learning opportunities. When we stop learning, we stop being relevant and vibrant in our work life.

In a recent Forbes article, 10 Signs you are on the right path and 10 signs you aren’t, the author leads us through the journey of Elise, a medical secretary. She is taken through a series of open-ended questions to help her assess her current position and to find ways to advance her career. I was most taken by the ten signs of whether or not she was on the right path and seeking learning opportunities was one of those steps:

You’re on your path when you feel like a kid again because you’re learning at such a rapid pace. You’re not on your path when you haven’t learned anything new in ages but you say “That’s okay.  I’m a subject-matter expert, so I don’t have anything to learn.”

We can’t afford to sit back on our past knowledge and experience and believe that we’ll continue to be relevant in our industry. Not only are there new advances and changes in customer expectations, we need to seek learning opportunities so that we stay excited about what we do for a living.

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy

Not only will seeking out learning opportunities help us stay engaged, it is also a great way to become irreplaceable within your company. One of the 4 reasons you want to be continually learning is all about the value you bring to the company:

The person who can adapt the most wins. This is a piece of advice I learned reading about fighter pilots in the Air Force. It is not about the strength of the plane, but instead it’s the ability to react to different situations that makes a fighter jet. The best fighter pilots can adjust to more circumstances than the norm, making them much deadlier.

This same idea can be applied to our value to our organizations. If you can only sell your product, you are limited by your contribution. If you can sell, build and run operations, now you’ve become irreplaceable.

Business is constantly changing and if you are lucky enough to be in the technology world, the changes are rapid and from all directions. Just this week Uber CEO announced that we are only ten years away from flying cars. Imagine the learning that is involved in totally changing the paradigm of transportation.

What learning opportunities will you seek out this year? One way to keep learning is to closely examine your own business goals and where you are on the path to your vision of success. Many professional women aspire to advance their career, but most will encounter common obstacles because they don’t have “The Professional Playbook” to navigate corporate cultures. Download three chapters now of the professional playbook for women that includes initiatives to accelerate your professional growth.

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