A lot of companies have done away with their official training programs. And, while some are making up for it by offering benefits like tuition reimbursement, free conferences, course subscriptions for online learning, and mentorship programs, you can still find plenty of ways to learn on the job if your company doesn’t offer any of this. Try one of these 6 methods!
1. Cross Functional Teams and Projects: If you have the chance to work with cross functional teams or work on cross functional projects, you can learn a lot along the way. Why? Because you’ll be exposed to jobs, responsibilities, and areas of projects you wouldn’t be if you were on a more isolated team.
2. Train Someone Else: Nothing helps you reaffirm your knowledge better than teaching it to someone else! Whether you’re instructing a new hire on the basics of your position or teaching a coworkers a skill that you have that they have yet to learn, you actually learn a lot by sharing your knowledge with others.
3. Ask to Shadow: While your company may not offer an official mentorship program, you can ask a coworker who has a few more years of experience than you do or who is at a lead or managerial level if you can take an hour out of your day to shadow them and observe what they do at work. Learning through observing others and potentially lending a hand when they need it is invaluable!
4. Find a Course Buddy: If you want to take an online course to learn a new skill, find a course buddy! This would preferably be a coworker who you regularly collaborate with, but anyone who is willing to set aside a lunch break or two a week to discuss what you’re both learning will do. This shared experience will help you learn a lot faster and retain the information or skill more thoroughly than you would if you were doing this on your own.
5. Tackle Challenging Projects: The reason that challenging projects are so rewarding is because they stretch our abilities and teach us a lot along the way. Volunteer to pitch in on challenging projects or elevate existing projects to challenging new heights and you can learn by immersing yourself in complex work rather than studying from a book.
6. Evaluate Yourself and Ask for Constructive Feedback: When you actively evaluate your own performance, you’re bound to learn a lot about where you’re excelling and where you’re falling short. Similarly, when you ask for constructive feedback from coworkers and bosses, the insights they share could help you learn how to correct your mistakes in the future or show you where you need to concentrate your learning efforts outside of work.
While training programs, learning incentives, and benefits like tuition reimbursement are nice to have, they’re not the only ways that you can learn on the job. Try out one or more of these 6 ways to make sure you’re always learning and growing at work!