The seventh and final Habit from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is Sharpen The Saw, “preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you”. Preserving, in this context, is not about sitting on one’s laurels.
Who needs training anyway?
People with experience host years of learning and adaptation. Training is unlikely to be top of their to-do list. However, if experience is all you have there is a chance of taking the basics for granted.
You don’t know what you don’t know, but you also don’t know what you have long forgotten. As I have experienced, relearning and allowing myself to be open to modern approaches can be difficult (for the ego) but always rewarding.
For graduates new to a career, your challenge is to progress theory into practice. Sometimes you must unlearn teachings to fit within the models of your new peers. Soon enough, the theories are forgotten. Then comes a time when those theories play a significant role, if only they remained in your consciousness.
What does good learning look like?
A good balance for personal development is learning that includes lesson-based classes peppered throughout practical on-the-job experience. But knowing where to turn, and what courses to take, can be the biggest barrier.
At Experience UX, we have always valued shadowing projects and picking up research ops tasks, helping from day one. However, we also have a series of our own internal training modules that (all) new team members undertake as part of their onboarding, and we encourage everyone to run through them again every year or two.
We also take advantage of self-paced online learning. Our team diarise thoughtful Fridays to dedicate time to learning and reflection. Often this is less formal, via LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, etc. This is great for a bit of downtime, to capture some new perspective, or remind us of what we already know.
Where to learn
My realisation, and I’m not the first, is that we are all learning all the time, whether we know it or not. It is better to be proactive and own your learning than to wait for it to happen to you. With this in mind, here are a few training courses we value at Experience UX:
- Masterclass – Chris Voss’s The Art Of Negotiating, in addition to the core subject matter, has some wonderful interview techniques to add to your toolbox.
- Chris Croft – Chris is one of the world’s leading trainers, who I worked with over twenty years ago. His Project Management courses are legendary.
- IDEO – For professional development and certification, you can’t go wrong with IDEO’s Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate.
- EUX – It would be remiss of me not to mention Experience UX’s training, which includes the Foundations of UX and Empathy Mapping.
Whichever career and life path you are on be sure to keep training, and remember to action your learning so others reap the rewards of your mastery.