One of the most common trends in job searching now does not come down to how your skills will be used, but rather how you will be able to build upon your current skills and continue learning in the role. Learning and Development has never been more top of mind for companies, and should definitely be considered when you are applying for a new position or if you have fallen into a point of your current role where you are no longer learning.
Are you a Peter or a Paul?
A recent Forbes article, Be A Learn-It All, discussed two theories based on in-demand skills and moving up the corporate ladder. “The ‘Peter Principle,’ states that people eventually get promoted beyond their capability” while with the “the ‘Paul Principle’: employees do not need to get promoted to become incompetent; that can happen in their current jobs unless they learn new competencies and behaviors. The more you learn, the more you’ll earn—and you’ll have greater job security.”
Of course, you can always ask before accepting a position what the company’s policies are for training and development, but once you are already in the role and have hit a plateau, it’s a bit more difficult to find a way to progress. In this situation, you are no longer learning, but you have also probably lost motivation for your day to day responsibilities, and are no longer performing your best work, which is where the learning model comes into play.
Most Learning and Development teams use the 70-20-10 model, 70% hands-on learning, 20% from others, and 10% self-taught. When you’re not learning in your position anymore, re-evaluate and see how you can adjust your learning model to fit your learning needs. Hands-On learning can include your day-to-day work responsibilities, but can also include utilizing platforms such as social media for your personal use. Whether your “others” category is a coach, mentor, coworkers, classmates, friends, or family, anyone can have an influence on your learning, and allow you to see things from a different perspective. If your learning buckets are still feeling low, take the opportunity to teach yourself some new skills now that you are no longer learning in your position, whether that be by playing around with a new software on your work computer, asking to shadow a new project, or seeing if there are free online courses in the skills you want to learn and develop.
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