Centric’s Learning Manager, Heather Bahorich, dives deeper into why learning matters in part one of this learning series.

Part one of a series

I was bowling with a coworker at a company function a few weeks ago when he walked up to me and stated that he was starting to get this “learning stuff.” I smiled and casually asked what he meant by that.

He went on to explain that he had always been one of those people that helped others learn but didn’t necessarily care about his own learning.

His comments didn’t surprise me.

After many years in the learning space, I have gotten used to hearing varying reasons from people who think they don’t need to learn new things:

  • “I have peaked in my career. It is time I teach others, not invest in learning new things.”
  • “I enjoy my job. Why waste my energy on learning something I do not need?”
  • “I will learn something new when I have to. I do not have time to sit down and learn new things right now.”
  • “I spend time developing my employees, but I do not necessarily need to spend time developing myself.”

Here are three major reasons why you should invest in learning:

#1 – Challenge yourself 

  • Get out of your mundane routine and stretch yourself. Expand your brain to new ideas and set a goal. Learn a new language. Discover how to code. Perfect your cooking skills. Trial and error your new interest. Build your confidence and increase your happiness through these challenges.

#2 – Your degree doesn’t matter anymore

  • I hate to break it to you, but your degree that you obtained 5, 10, or 15 years ago doesn’t matter to most of your clients or your employer. It is what you know today that is relevant to them.

#3 – Stay – or make yourself – relevant in the market

  • One thing that I can promise is that the world is constantly changing. Your industry is evolving, your client’s needs are adjusting, and your employees are wanting new things. If you are not learning with it, you will be left behind.

I read an article a few months ago where AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, said that those who don’t spend five to ten hours a week learning online “will obsolete themselves with technology.” Those who do not find themselves intentional around the recognition of their own learning will be left behind, and I honestly do not want to be left behind. I also don’t want my friends, family or colleagues to be left behind.

That’s why when my coworker continued to explain that he felt like he was a professional in his space and did not need to invest much time learning something new, I told him he was wrong. I explained that we learn every day and that learning is really important regardless of where you are in your career.

From the conversations at the watercooler to the podcast that he had listened to on the way to work, he had actually been learning something new each day. I helped him see that and encouraged him to track his learning activities using we our smart new learning tool, Degreed. Degreed helps our employees recognize that they’re  learning by breaking the mold of the traditional classroom experience.

It’s easy for me to talk about learning since it’s the heartbeat of what I do on a daily basis, but it’s another thing to live and breathe my own intentionality around learning and the recognition of my everyday learning habits.

Learning is important because that management book that I read last quarter is helping me better communicate with our employees. The podcast that I listened to last month is making me more intentional around my learning marketing strategy. And the video that I watched on YouTube last night is assisting me in connecting with those younger millennials in the office.

How important is your learning to you? What do you do each day to make sure that you’re learning each day?

In our next blog in the series, we’ll explore four benefits of learning something new every day.