Professional Development: Learning My Job

I’ve been at my “new” job for about two and a half months now.  I keep hesitating to post more about still learning said job, because admitting that I don’t have it down perfectly yet might make me sound like a total moron.

Peer Mentoring by dejahthoris on Flickr
"Peer Mentoring" by dejahthoris on Flickr

The reason I feel like I’m still learning is that I don’t consider keeping the learning center afloat to be the full extent of my job. Of course I can do the basics – that’s why they hired me.  And of course I consider it my responsibiltiy to go beyond the basics – that’s also why they hired me.  Getting from Monday to Tuesday isn’t enough.

A post on Lifehacker caught my eye today.  The picture of the little pyramid schematic they posted (which I re-posted) with regards to professional development said exactly what I’ve been trying to avoid using 3,000 words to describe.  It’s describing my learning process really well.  First I had to focus on the essentials, the air, food, and water.  No problem, but for a while it was all I could do.  Then the big picture started to become clearer and clearer to me and I could start doing more and more “beyond survival” essentials.  From that big picture sense of my job, I could see what skills I needed to hone to do more of exactly what the learning center needs.  Right now I’m working on those skills, slowly but surely.

I don’t know, “Professional Development” always sounds to me like “Semi-relevant classes and conferences you can attend on work hours.”  In the past it’s felt like a way to stretch my job into something more interesting.  In this case, my job is stretching me, and it’s lovely!

2 thoughts on “Professional Development: Learning My Job

  1. at head start, we have this theory that it takes three years to “get” the job.

    1.) surviving.
    2.) understanding.
    3.) thriving.

    if you really get your job before year three, then you’re doing great in my book! 🙂

  2. I’m sure Head Start is right – in three years, I’ll probably look back and smile at how clueless I was that I’d thought I’d totally “gotten” my job back in 2008. I’ll email you in September 2011 and let you know. 🙂 But even if it does turn out in retrospect that I’m still “surviving” right now, I’m certainly surviving by a lot more than I was at first, and it feels good!

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