From college to career: Are you ready for adult learning?

The truly educated never graduate.

Remember when you first got behind the wheel of a car and someone (likely a parent) began teaching you how to drive?

For many teens, that’s a daunting experience: sitting in a large, possibly expensive vehicle, a powerful engine at hand and an empty parking lot ahead. Some fall into the experience without hesitation, for others the responsibility of Driving A Car intimidates.

No matter how much you might have read about driving a car, thought about driving a car, or watched videos about driving, the bottom line is that you learned to drive, by, well … driving.

Learning in your career is much the same. You learn by putting concepts and skills into action, rather than by reading and regurgitating subject matter from a book or a lecture.

Here are five ways you’ll see your learning process change as a young professional:

1. You move from being a “student” to being a self-directed learner. Now you’ll learn because it serves a purpose in your career.

2. You will draw upon experience to facilitate your learning process. You’ll start applying new skills, and then improve and perfect them as you practice.

3. You have a new role, as an employee, that will shape your workplace learning. Your need to know directly relates to this new role.

4. You’ll apply your new knowledge to solve problems in your role, on your team, or in your work relationships.

5. Your motivation to learn comes more from within you and the alignment with your goals and objectives, rather than from external influences (like the number of credits you need this quarter).

Employers need learners!

Many companies cite “learner” as one of the key attributes they look for in new employees. Events and ideas that are not yet evident to us will shape our future. Organizations and the people in them must constantly learn and adapt to changes in the workplace ecosystem.

Though learning gives you valuable experience, a commitment to continual learning cultivates real achievement. Even though school is out, pay attention and take note! Your education is still in session.

What have you noticed about learning in the workplace?

Posted in: Blog, First job, Your Job Search

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