We bang the “lifelong learning” drum a lot here at Merrfeld Career Management. We encourage fans and clients alike to pursue every opportunity to learn that they can find. Whether that’s taking a class to learn a new hobby or pursuing an advanced degree, learning not only advances your knowledge but it also helps you find a job faster. Here’s how:
Learners have an open mind and employers love candidates willing to learn.
Yes, employers want you to have the basic skills required for the job you’re interviewing for but they also want you to be open to learning. No one gets more side-eye than the employee who constantly says, “At my old job we…” Candidates who demonstrate knowledge and accomplishments in their field while being open to learning from their new teammates stand out from the crowd.
Learners have a broader array of skills
People with a passion for learning tend to be interested in a variety of topics. While their passion might be the art of Mongolian throat singing or developing the world’s best pickle brine, learners get excited about numerous topics. They can easily engage with people who are passionate about a topic, even when they are not. This openness to ideas allows them to see beyond the status quo at work and find creative and effective strategies that move organizations forward.
Learners build stronger, networks
Learners bring with them a broad array of connections that can be leveraged in all areas of their lives. There’s no easier way to build a network than to spend time with people who share your interests. A fellow book club member might just be the next-door neighbor to the CEO their new company has been trying to break into. The 80’s metal band fan that hangs out at their favorite vinyl shop might be the hiring manager for the role of their dreams. Remember, over 85% of all jobs are found through networking.
Learners never stop innovating.
As our world changes at an unprecedented pace, the ability to pivot and innovate is more valuable than ever. Learners love to explore, and exploration leads to innovation. Employers need that now more than ever.
- You can learn to be a learner
While Learner may not be in your Top 5 Strengths (it’s 23/34 for me!), that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to learn. Start by determining how you learn best and find topics that excite you. Once you determine your preferred method for learning, strive to apply that to learning at work. The more time you spend perfecting the art of learning, the easier learning becomes!