Boost Your Career Success with Learnability: Tips and Strategies for Professional Development
Alice Meredith
Boost Your Career Success with Learnability Tips and Strategies for Professional Development

In today’s rapidly changing job market, it’s more important than ever to be adaptable and able to learn new skills. As we kick off 2023 it’s imperative to know that employability is less about what we already know and more about our capacity to learn.  That’s where learnability comes in. Learnability is the ability to continuously learn and adapt to new technologies and processes, and it’s a key factor in career success. If you want to advance in your career and stay employable, boosting your learnability is crucial. In this article, I’ll explore the importance of learnability and provide tips and strategies for improving your professional development through continuous learning.

Why Learnability is Essential for Career Success

As the world of work evolves at a rapid pace, being able to keep up with changes is crucial for career success. Companies are looking for employees who can demonstrate their ability to learn new skills quickly and apply them in their work. This shows employers that you are proactive and open to learning new ways of doing things. In addition, being able to think outside of the box and bring a fresh perspective to the workplace can help businesses stay agile and competitive.

Learnability is also key to staying employable. With the rise of automation and emerging technologies, many jobs are becoming obsolete. By being able to learn new skills and adapt to changing job requirements, you can stay ahead of the curve and remain valuable to employers.

Boosting Learnability Leads to Career Advancement: A Personal Exam

Early in my career, I had been working as a multi-unit retail manager for a few years when my boss encouraged me to take a lateral role in corporate marketing. It was a huge opportunity for me to expand my understanding and network in the corporate environment, as well as an opportunity to gain experience in a different area of the business.

I was hesitant at first, as I had been comfortable in my retail role for so long. But I trusted my boss’s judgment and decided to take the leap. It ended up being one of the best decisions of my career.

The learning experience I gained from working in corporate marketing was invaluable. I was able to see the bigger picture of how the entire company operated, not just my specific retail location. I also gained valuable skills in marketing and communication that I had never even considered before.

It wasn’t always easy, as I had to adjust to a new role and a new way of working. But the learning experience was well worth it. Less than a year later, I was promoted to regional director – a role that I likely would never have attained – or would have taken me longer to attain, if I had stayed in my district-level retail position.

This experience showed me the importance of learnability in career success. The ability to continuously expand our learning in diverse fields, always learning and adapting to new technologies and processes, is crucial in today’s rapidly changing job market.

A few years after the experience I just shared in the above example, I made another pivot in my career as I moved from a positional authority role as a Regional Director into a leadership position in the human resources space within a different organization. This career transition was a complete success due to my openness to learning and my desire to learn all I could about this new field. In fact, I share my journey in this career pivot along with a host of additional leadership lessons in my latest online training course, “Influence Without Authority: Becoming an Agent of Change,” which is hosted on the Pluralsight platform (add link).  Just like my earlier example, this experience showed me the importance of being open to learning and embracing new challenges in order to advance in my career. It also reinforced the idea that learnability is a crucial skill to have in today’s rapidly changing job market. With hard work and a willingness to learn, it is possible to pivot successfully into a new career path.

Let’s now explore a few more examples of how learnability can elevate your career opportunities and then ways to invite learnability into our everyday life to elevate our professional development.

Examples of How Learnability Can Elevate Your Success

We all recognize how important it is to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in your industry. By continuously learning and adapting to new skills and processes, you can ensure that you remain relevant and valuable to your employer. For example, if you work in the tech industry and you are able to quickly learn new programming languages as they emerge, you will be more valuable to your employer and more competitive in the job market.

Another example is if you work in marketing, you might choose to take time to stay current on the latest social media marketing strategies. This extra time upfront can easily pay off in the long run by showing your organization that you’re knowledgeable about industry trends and able to pivot and implement emerging strategies quicker than others on your team.

While these last two examples are generic, I hope they were able to engage your mind to ideate on other examples relevant to your career space. Continually improving your learnability not only helps you stay relevant in your field but can also lead to opportunities for advancement within your company. By showing your ability to adapt and learn new skills, you can become a valuable asset to your employer and increase your chances of promotion.

Learnability Ideas You Can Start Implementing Today

So what can you do today to increase your learnability? 

Well, there are several ways you can boost your learnability and improve your professional development:

1. Take online courses or attend workshops offered by experts in your field. These courses can provide valuable insights into current trends and emerging technologies and help you stay up-to-date in your industry.

2. Read books by experts in your field. There are many books available that can provide valuable tips and strategies for staying ahead in a rapidly changing job market.

3. Seek out mentorship or apprenticeship opportunities. Working with someone who is already established in their profession can provide valuable experience and help you learn new skills.

4. Keep up with trends and developments in your industry. This can be as simple as subscribing to industry newsletters or following relevant social media accounts.

5. Practice agile thinking. Being able to think on your feet and adapt quickly to change can help you stay ahead in a rapidly changing job market. 

Related: Learning Quotient (LQ): What It Is, Why It’s Important

 Agile Thinking: The Ability to Quickly Adapt and Find Solutions

For those of you not quite sure what agile thinking is, let me expand on this last tip.  Agile thinking is the ability to quickly adapt to and find solutions for changing situations. It is a way of problem-solving where you are able to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions in a timely manner. Agile thinkers are highly valued in the modern workplace as they can help teams stay ahead and find innovative ways of working with limited resources. To excel at agile thinking, one needs to be willing to take risks, challenge conventional thought processes, and have an open mindset when it comes to trying new approaches or techniques. Agile thinking involves being able to identify and select the best courses of action that match current objectives while staying flexible enough to pivot when circumstances change. 

The ability to think agilely requires practice and training, but it can be immensely beneficial in various aspects of life – from rapidly changing career paths, through personal relationships all the way down to everyday tasks. If you’re interested in learning more about agile thinking, I recommend reading my article on “The Benefits of Agile Thinking.” (add article title and link)

Related: What IS Agile Thinking?
Cultivating Change-ready Cultures

Learnability is essential for career success in today’s rapidly changing job market. By taking advantage of online courses, reading books by experts, seeking out mentorship or apprenticeship opportunities, and keeping up with trends, you can improve your professional development and boost your career prospects. I highly encourage you not to put it off. Don’t wait till tomorrow – start learning and improving your learnability today!

If you’re interested in continuing your learning journey and want to explore more engaging resources and insights, I invite you to visit my website.  There, you’ll find a variety of blog articles, online courses, and other resources that are designed to help leaders and those desiring to move into people leader roles boost their learnability and advance their careers. Whether you’re looking to learn new skills, gain new perspectives, or simply stay up to date on the latest trends in your field, you’ll find something of value on my website. So be sure to check it out and take the next step in your professional development journey.

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