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Civil Service

Learning at Work Week – just do it!

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Logo of Learning at Work Week 2019, with dates, 13 to 19 May

I am one of those people who can say I have been developed to within an inch of my life and, if I am honest, continue to be so. Formal, informal, classroom, virtual, you name it, I am likely to have done it.

I fully recognise that I may be considered ‘privileged’, determined or maybe just plain lucky in this respect, but it is also the reason that I think ‘learning at work week’ is a bit of a strange concept. You may think that is a rather odd and slightly career-limiting thing to say, given we are in Learning at Work Week, but please hear me out.

The beauty of learning is that it can and does happen at different times and places. For me, it is not limited to a week and does not need to happen at work. However, it is a very good way to get everyone focused and energised to learn, particularly if it is not something that naturally leaps from the ‘to do’ list in to a completed action. Especially given the multitude of activities on offer across the Civil Service.

Watching my 7-year-old daughter grow reminds me that learning can be fun  and should not just be about being developed by others – even at 7, she and her classmates are far from passive recipients of whatever wisdom is imparted to them. I believe learning is a gift which leaves me in a different (usually better) state than I was beforehand. It is something that, if truly embraced, can benefit many more people that those either giving or receiving the learning. It also means those delivering or facilitating learning are key – but that can be the subject for another blog post.

We all have different styles and preferences for how we learn. But for all of my learning experiences, the most memorable have been those where I have seen learning in practice (that is, not from a textbook), where I’ve been able to explore and try things out, and when I have left my preconceptions and inhibitions at the door and tried to maximise the opportunity before me.

So, my thought is this, keeping an open mind, being an active player and seeking out lots of different learning opportunities collectively leads to increased wellbeing, greater productivity and provides an all-round energy boost for the day, week, month, year ahead. I am sure there are a multitude of stats that can support or disprove my argument, but that’s not the point. Learning at Work Week is an opportunity to try something different, or repeat something you have enjoyed in the past.

Have you lost anything by giving it (in whatever form) a go?

Whatever your own preference for how and where you learn, look out for learning opportunities – and not just in Learning at Work Week!

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  1. Comment by Cyrille posted on

    Great post and positive reminder that learning is a central part of a personal journey at work and elsewhere.
    There are so many opportunities it can be deceptively easy to delay or discount L&D and miss out on another 'boost' to enjoying what we do, and doing it better. The opposite can happen: doing so much L&D and not use it or feel the benefits.
    Let's be active learners 365 days a year!

    • Replies to Cyrille>

      Comment by Dionne posted on

      Thanks and well said Cyrille! ??

    • Replies to Cyrille>

      Comment by Dionne posted on

      Well said Cyrille and thanks!

  2. Comment by Dionne posted on

    I echo your thanks to everyone who makes these sorts of things happen John...they are often the unsung heroes!

  3. Comment by Dr Perry posted on

    I have thrown myself into the Learning at Work Week for the first time and been rewarded by some simulating points of view - from presenters, of course, but also from other attendees.

    It has also given me some thinking time, which seems a premium at work these days.

    Well done those who organise and deliver these events, but as stated in the main article, it is really something to participate. We should celebrate those who attend and encourage and support others to participate more.

  4. Comment by Claudia Kingsley-Adu posted on

    This is very refreshing to read and very relatable. In the mist of being engrossed in my daily tasks it has also given me food for thought with the statement “Have you lost anything by giving it (in whatever form) a go?”

    I may just throw caution to the wind and challenge myself this week.

    Thank you for inspiring me today.

    • Replies to Claudia Kingsley-Adu>

      Comment by Dionne posted on

      Thanks Claudia, I'm glad it's given you a little nudge. Good luck!