• Stacey Rivers

Level Up and Take the Learning Challenge

Learning is growth. Even in the midst of a rapidly evolving backdrop, we have to be intentional about moving forward at this unusual stage. As I was devising a strategy for a learning challenge, three things occurred to me:

  1. There is no better time to learn than now.

  2. Learning impacts every aspect of our lives.

  3. The investment in learning always pays off.

These have all been truisms for me, and I’ll tell you why.

Whenever I encountered obstacles, valleys, and quiet seasons when it seemed my goals would not come to fruition, I invested in learning. In 2008 I had just completed my master’s degree and was still “waiting” to move forward in my career (“waiting” does not have to be a passive event). I decided to focus on a cross-departmental project for standardizing technical processes in master control at Turner. I learned so much leading this effort and discovered how much I liked project management. My enthusiasm for learning and collaboration showed through, and the project was a great success. The next year, I was tapped for a cross-divisional role for Turner Studios to standardize processes from Studios to Master Control.

This role is just one example of how learning has positively impacted my career. Here is another one.

In 2014, I started blogging out of a “learning challenge” my career coach gave me. She asked me to write down three times in my career when I enjoyed my work. This challenge would help me learn more about myself and give me clues for the direction I should take my career. Reluctantly (but obediently) I wrote the three stories. This simple task turned on a fire hydrant of ideas that came flooding out of me! I started blogging and launched a blog called “Career Bluprint” on the Google Blogger platform. Then in a couple of years, I decided to self publish and turned my blogs into books. I would have never authored a book because I didn’t think I could…see how taking a learning challenge can turn into something much bigger?

So here is my challenge to you. Look at learning like a ticket to your next ride. Think about this:

1) What can you learn now that you never had time for before?

2) What interests do you have that you can now pursue?

3) What goal can you accomplish in this season that this pandemic makes it possible?

I don’t know the career goals you have. Still, I can assure you that learning something new will create opportunities when you invest time to develop your knowledge and skills. Look at the learning resources your employer offers and take advantage of it now.

For job seekers, there are ample opportunities for free learning. MOOCs (massive open online courses), like edX, are an excellent example of open courses where you can claim the certificate if you decide to invest.

If you decide to learn something new, please share your progress with me. I would love to hear your learning stories! And sign up for the Level Up newsletter on LinkedIn to read our latest progress report.


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