Embrace The Joy of Learning

The other day I briefly became involved in a discussion on Twitter about the need for people within Human Resources (HR) and Learning and Development (L&D) to engage in Continuous Professional Development (CPD.) That’s something I fully support because all of us need to keep abreast of developments within our own fields of expertise. However, there’s another reason I firmly believe that we should be engaged in CPD and that’s because we can have an impact on those we work with throughout our organisations.

I am passionate about what I tend to refer to as the sheer “joy of learning” and that it is something which can become infectious. By showing a real commitment, engagement with and joy at learning new things we can encourage others to engage with their own learning and development. If we act as role models for continuous professional development or learning then others can be influenced by us and the organisation as a whole will continue to grow.

I know that when it comes to ongoing learning and development in the workplace, the prospect of keeping your skills relevant on a continual basis may seem daunting. However, learning new things and increasing our marketable skills doesn’t have to be an laborious task it really can be a pleasure endeavour. The attitude which we adopt about the process can have a large impact upon our experience and that of those we work with. Continuing education can be an opportunity to discover the joy of learning with the right outlook. Let’s take a look at how rewarding it can truly be.

Not Just a Means To An End

You may feel that you must constantly hone your skills through continuing professional development, in order to remain competitive in the workplace. Or, perhaps your professional body or your company requires you to complete a minimum number of CPD hours each year. Either way, when you think of this as another hoop that you must jump through, it is likely to diminish your experience and even the amount of benefit that you receive from the development.

In contrast, whether taken voluntarily or mandated by your profession or organisation, continuing development can enrich your professional life. You will have access to the latest information, trends and techniques in your chosen field – allowing you to stay on the cutting edge. This will not only give you an advantage over your peers, but it can help you to become more efficient and effective as well. In addition, with new methods and ideas to try, it can provide you with more outlets to be creative and proactive about your daily tasks. All of these can work to bring you more joy in your professional duties, as you enjoy your career more.
Enjoy the Process

Yet, while the end result can be increased productivity, marketability and knowledge, part of the joy of learning comes from the process itself. Many people rarely get the opportunity to take time out just to learn in their adult life, and continuing development in the workplace provides you with the perfect chance.

You will be able to investigate areas of interest to you, or delve deeper into topics regarding your work that you’ve always been curious about. Learning new tips and skills also helps to keep your mind working well, and your cognitive abilities sharp. That’s why I would encourage you to approach your continuing professional development as a fun challenge, rather than just a necessary task.

The Benefits

Not only can ongoing learning and professional development provide you with new information and greater marketability – it can increase your earning power as well. This can work in several ways, the first being the greater mastery of your occupation. You’ll have more expertise to offer your employer, which can often translate into a bigger role or the opportunity to move on to a bigger role.

In addition, by keeping your work varied and your interest piqued, you’ll likely derive more pleasure from your job as well. How can this affect your earning capability? People who enjoy their work tend to do a better job, and invest more of themselves into their projects. Simply put, the more you enjoy your work and the more you learn about it, the greater your chances of advancement are.

Finally, by constantly improving and expanding your skills, you’ll have an advantage in the job market as well. You may find yourself being contacted by recruiters, or if you were to suddenly need another job, you should have less trouble finding a new position.

In summary, I firmly believe that ongoing learning and professional development in the workplace can be both a pleasurable and a beneficial experience. Rather than a duty that you must perform, it can be something that you should enjoy. It can not only enhance your understanding of your occupation, and provide you with valuable techniques and strategies for success, but it can inspire those you work with to embrace their own opportunities for learning and development. For all of these reasons, approaching your continuing professional development with a positive attitide is an opportunity to enrich your professional life and to embrace the the joy of learning.

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