Professional Development Tip: Keep On Learning

By Natalie Cubbon, Projects Coordinator for Oil Region Library Association

When you’re consumed with work, it can be challenging to find the time to keep learning new things throughout your career. Sometimes it may not seem practical, but continuing to grow your skill set is incredibly important and can be introduced to your routine more easily than you might think!

“Why adapt? We’ve always done it this way.”
The recent global pandemic has taught us that circumstances can change very rapidly. Many businesses and organizations have been forced to adapt to these changes, introducing new modes of outreach and service delivery. When we adapt to changes, we often learn new things. We learn what works for our community and what doesn’t. Staying stagnant in your practices can be a dangerous cycle that leads to being very close-minded. Creating new practices can open up opportunities for real growth.

Podcasts & Books
Listening to podcasts are a great way to learn new things without feeling overwhelmed. If you struggle with putting time aside to introduce yourself to new skills, techniques, and points of view, popping in some earbuds while you work is an almost effortless way to keep learning. Audiobooks are just as easy to multitask with, as they’re available on your mobile device (and provided for free through your local library!).

Going to community events, mixers, and workshops can be great opportunities to network with other professionals and businesses. Networking often leads to making connections locally and provides space for thoughtful conversation. Much of my continued learning comes from attending workshops and events at the Chamber, like Tech Talks!

Try Something You Think You May Fail At
Whether it’s public speaking, creating a flyer, or giving a presentation, you’ll never know whether you’re going to be successful doing something until you try it!

If you’re not the creative type, try to create something for your business or organization using a free, online designing platform like Canva. Canva allows you to create personalized and professional quality materials in a variety of formats, and even provides easy templates and tutorials for beginners! If you like to fade into the background, try putting yourself out there more. Film a video of yourself for your business or organization’s social media platforms in order to promote or inform your audience about services. You’ll learn more about yourself, as well as your audience when you take risks!

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) August 2021 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

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