Continuous Learning

When was the last time you did any work of significance, and didn’t have to learn something new along the way? I’m guessing it has been a while, if you can even remember such a time.

Jobs which don’t require you to learn, and then apply that learning, are not as engaging, nor as likely to stay local. Now we should expect ourselves to have to constantly learn and apply new concepts. It is for this reason good companies and hiring managers will not care nearly as much about what you can already do as they care what you can learn to do, and how quickly.

What are you doing to make sure you are able to learn, and apply what you learn?

In my opinion, the best thing we can do is make sure we don’t get too tied up in implementation details until we have placed the current needs in context; made sure we are pursuing the right solution, using the right tools.  Like the old adage about sharpening your saw, if you are using the wrong tools, or worse yet, using them for the wrong purpose, no matter how skilled you are in their use, you are not delivering as well as you should. Remember the adage about over-use of a tool: if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. (Abraham Kaplan).


Further reading:


Filed under Learning, Self-improvement

5 Responses to Continuous Learning

  1. Eric Gordon

    I cant agree more. Ive had the discussion with several managers, the good ones Ive had, that college is not about the classes you took but rather about learning to learn.

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  3. Ryan Hagglund

    My company is actually looking to hire right now and I think this is quite apt. Am I more interested in what the person can do now or the potential and desire to develop professionally that the person exhibits? Good thoughts, Scott!

    • Scott Swanson

      Ryan, good question, though the answer depends on how urgently you need them to be contributing at a high level. In the short run, ability trumps drive, but in medium to long term, drive becomes ability while keeping the drive.

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