Lifelong Learning | Key to Career Success
There will always be waves of change in our lives, and it becomes critical that we adopt a thoughtful strategy to remain responsive to how both changes’ volume and velocity is impacting our ever evolving ecosystem. Ignoring these whitecaps or not having an approach to address change introduces material professional and personal risks. One successful approach for effectively staying afloat while navigating this stream of new but only sometimes improved changes is what I refer to as lifelong learning.
The consideration of lifelong learning is not new, in fact it has become an integral part of each of our realities. This reality appears in our personal life, in the shape of our need to learn the new operating system for the latest updates to our mobile and other home devices. Lifelong learning also shows up in our professional life in a number of career-altering ways, via the changing complexities of regulatory reforms, economic cycles and competitive pressures. Unlike the benign changes on the home-front, ignoring or not responding effectively to changes in the professional arena can have material consequences to both individual careers and entire industries.
However our ability to more thoughtfully strategize and plan for these changing realities lays the ground work for developing a path to maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage for both individuals and industry. I would like to offer two Life Long Learning tactics that when pursued provide the roadmap for navigating this sea of accelerated change in a more thoughtful and effective manner.
Learning as a Continuum
As we move from elementary school to middle school to high school and beyond, we become matriculated to thinking that learning is something that happens in the classroom, the lab or the library. The sooner we discern that learning and the most important parts of learning happen outside the school and are experience based the sooner we can capture and leverage these varied experiences in a manner that more constructively provides positive outcomes.
Also, we spend thousands of dollars for classroom learning from technical and professional instructors but when we interact with similar or even more successful and experienced professionals at work or socially we don’t have an approach to optimize these engagements. Our ability to recognize the value of all value added interactions that occur and be thoughtful on what they can teach us is essential to securing the knowledge needed for career success.
Learning as an Investment
As we think about the skills we need to win, it is important that we view the time, dollars and any hardships needed to acquire these abilities as an investment. This is no different than saving for a home or retirement only the dividend on education is much larger. It also means looking at the time we spend in classrooms, on the web securing self-directed learning or reading conventional books or trade journals as an investment in human capital. An investment that can help you become more proficient in your job, in your relationships and as a result in your life is one worth working for.
As with any investment, it should be evaluated on the basis of a return. A return does not have to be calculated in terms of dollars should rather be evaluated on the basis of moving you closer to your personal or professional objective. We understand that as we evaluate learning it is more about following our passion, maximizing our contribution and fulfilling our greater purpose. In this regard the dividends from pursuing lifelong learning can be immensely rewarding.
About the author: Jesse is the Chief Learning Officer responsible for the management, direction and strategy of Consumer & Community Banking training functions. This globally distributed and high impact learning organization supports more than 120 thousand bank employees in addition to developing learning content for strategic vendors.
He has been with the firm for over 25 years joining the bank via the firm’s Management Development Program after completing five-years of active duty in the United States Navy. Jesse has also held several national managerial roles such as the Client Service Executive for both Commercial Banking and Business Banking. He also held various Consumer Banking management roles, including: Sales Manager, Branch Manager and Division Sales Manager.
Jesse holds a Master’s Degree from New York University, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and completed University of Denver’s Emerging Leaders Program. As a Brooklyn International High School Teaching Entrepreneurship Reviewer he works with students to help develop business efforts organized in urban markets, a recipient of the YMCA Black Achievers in Industry award and currently serving as the Co-Chair to BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership Development) Business Resource Group within JPMorgan Chase.