When you started your job, did you freeze your original position description in carbonite? A perfectly frozen, static version of your job. Never-changing. Never-evolving. In perfect hibernation. Or have you engaged in a spirit of lifelong learning? You may call it professional development and/or the evolution of your job based on the ebb and flow of the work, but what it really is is quite simple. Learning is the job. It's what you do on a daily basis. Sure, you might be producing, arranging, managing, leading, planning, and executing, but at each part of the journey, you're learning...or at least you should be.
When I was a kid, my dad had minimal patience when it came to teaching me new things. Frustrated by his lack of inherent teaching abilities, I came to know learning as something that was largely an autodidactic activity. Sure, school was there and I loved it (the non-bullying parts, but that's for another day), but I always enjoyed tinkering, exploring, making, creating, searching, and figuring out how to do new things. That same attitude has saturated my adult existence. And let me tell you, there are a lot of things that I don't know how to do. It's an exciting list that is almost always full of things that I need to Google or questions that need answering. Learning is the job.
When I was speaking to an auditorium full of communications professionals last week, I had a moment of inspiration. While talking about Periscope, the latest live-streaming app du jour, I decided to stream part of the conversation using the app. Why? Why not. Showing cool apps to cool people is what sharing and teaching is all about. The response was fantastic. An impromptu stream via an iPhone-only (at the moment) app garnered several viewers/comments and showed the capabilities of Periscope in real time to an audience that is all about communicating great content.
When you stop learning, you're really not doing your job. You might be in the seat, but you're not really doing anyone any favors. Learning about your job should be exciting. Learning how to be more efficient, how to be better, and/or how to lead in your space is so much easier when your paradigms are focused on enjoying the fact that learning is everything.
Learning is your job. Learning is my job. Learning is the job.
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