It is often said that you learn something new every day. But do we continue learning or are we closing our mind off to new ideas? I have always been someone that values learning and that means investing time in my own continuous professional development. Modern life is fast-moving and communicators need to keep pace with what is happening and that means keeping their skills up-to-date.
I am lucky to be able to get involved in treating both in and out of work. This gives me an opportunity to both learn and share skills, but I am always surprised by how many people don’t take control of their own development. In the same way we have careers advisors at school and college perhaps we should be ensuring the communication and PR industry gives people somewhere to go for advice. I think that may be the subject of a whole new blog!
So back to the question about whether we are open to new ideas. To be open to new ideas we have to introduce ourselves to new things and that means doing things that are outside our daily routine. Doing that is difficult and uncomfortable as so much of our lives is mapped out. We know what time to get up, that we are going to work, that we will come home, eat, go to the gym, go to bed and do that each day. So when and how do we get the chance to try new things?
We have to make time and shake up some of the routine. This may mean adding something new into your day; a night class an online course or getting involved with some group. The rewards are significant as it can be a way to relax as well as learn something new. It is a way to challenge yourself. I know people will be shouting that they don’t have time and it sounds like doing extra work. I suppose if you look at it that way it is extra work but it doesn’t mean you will lose all your free time. You can devote a little bit of your time to it, and that isn’t a problem once you have set your mind on achieving it.
The key is that you have to want to do it. Once you are doing that then you are being exposed to new things and from that you can look at trying some new ideas. Nothing is more boring than doing the same thing day in, day out and it doesn’t have to be that way.
I was involved in some training in London today and it gave me a number of ideas of things to try and I am keen to get back in the office to start looking at trying them out. Learning new things is stimulating and it can keep us fresh birth in work and in our lives. I hope that I will continue learning throughout my life; stepping out of the well-trod path and expanding my horizons.