Work at learning: virtual wanderlust

Michele Martin asks “how do you keep up the motivation to keep learning? Sometimes it seems so much easier to sink into just getting things done – learning can seem like one more complication. How do you keep challenging yourself to learn? What do you do if you hit a sort of learning lull?

Introducing social media into my personal development planning has made a huge difference to my learning journey. Two things in particular stand out to me as practical steps to take, if you want to increase your thirst for learning at work. And it begins with stepping outside of your comfort zone.

1. Connect. Make connections with people who inspire you. Think about the things you want to learn. Get to know your colleagues, introduce yourself to peers and subject matter experts around the world and learn more about your company or industry. With a little encouragement, you may even find yourself making the mind shift from “this is how it is” to “this is where it’s at”.

2. Participate. Step out and share your ideas,  have confidence and work on something that has tangible results. Consider your conversations, blogs you could read, extra-curricular projects (like this one!), online communities and other more informal learning approaches. Consider how you can contribute. What ideas or knowledge can you share? Which skills would you like to sharpen?

image originally uploaded by law keven on Flickr

image originally uploaded by law keven on Flickr

Think about the possibilities. You could be part of something GREAT. If you plan your learning activities to include some more informal learning approaches, you can improve your chances of creating a more relevant, enjoyable, personal and interesting journey of learning.  You might even meet some pretty amazing people along the way.

It’s probably a matter of attitude – about making a decision to work at learning. Jump in. Step out. Drift a little in the things you enjoy. Get caught in the virtual wanderlust.

This post is my response to the theme for  Working/Learning Carnival “Work at learning; learning at work”.