I recently read an article on LinkedIn titled, The Future of Learning for Our Careers is Up to Us and it really made me think about the role that the individual plays in career growth and the role the company/employer plays in career growth. In my opinion no one party is fully responsible; both reap the benefits of growth and both should be responsible for continuing growth.
I agree with certain parts of this article:
- “We need to think about learning more iteratively and in milestones”
- “In the future, our learning for our careers will be increasingly self-directed”
- “We all need to become lifelong learners to compete in a new economy”
But other points such as, “the burden of career development shifts more to the individual” and “education largely benefits the employer” I don’t agree with and here is why.
The Burden is on the Employer
Yes, “In the future, our learning for our careers will be increasingly self-directed”, but we believe that it’s the burden of the company to employ and cultivate a system set up for DIY learning to take place. As I mentioned in the article “How Learning Can Help You Get and Retain Top Talent”, development is one of the top three job factors that will both attract and retain early career talent.” Employees want development opportunities and they also want the freedom to do things when and how works best for them. More and more companies recognize that and are putting systems in place to support that.
In fact, we work with hundreds of companies that invest in their employee’s career development. They build learning systems to provide their employees with a space for learning and a “playground” for autonomous and directed growth. Some even encourage their learners to go out and find information online, attend a speaking session, etc. to supplement the content they are creating and providing to them. This type of choice is not meant as a burden, it’s only meant to empower the learner and give them the freedom and ownership they desire.
Education Benefits the Individual (and the Employer)
It’s no doubt that companies benefit from their employees receiving additional education. More knowledge and new experiences only help contribute to the overall growth and wellness of the organization. But, the notion that “additional education largely benefits the employer” is a stretch. Especially when “the findings from the Pew survey make it clear that professional learners have benefited from their continuing education.” And “nearly 30% say it has enabled them to find a new job or consider a different career path”.
The point I was hoping to hear is that “when it comes to career development and learning in the future, you need to be self-motivated to get the most out of your career.” Yes! That will be huge. You need to care when you’re in a DIY Learning environment because content isn’t going to be fed to you and you won’t have to take an exam every time a new piece of content rolls out. You’re going to have freedom and you’re going to have to take initiative. We believe that companies should provide a space for learning and content to support it and that individuals should seek out what they want to learn and how they want to grow within and outside of the resources provided.
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