What are the different types of Learning & Development opportunities available?
You can’t think about developing your career without thinking about how you learn and the opportunities that you can take up to help you develop and progress. Based on the principle that most of our learning comes from experience and reflection, followed by working with others, and finally a smaller percentage of learning actually comes from “formal” learning, it follows that there are many opportunities to learn and develop beyond attending “courses”. Rather, it is useful to think of learning as a more continuous and reflective process. The sections below will assist you in deciding which learning opportunities will be useful for you and you can also find out more about learning opportunities at each stage of the 3 step approach.
Learn and Develop Through Formal Courses
This is the area that we think of when we think about learning opportunities, the traditional way of helping develop knowledge and skills. This might include:
- Courses, workshops, formal programmes
- Elearning courses and modules
- Professional accreditations and certifications
Learn and Develop With and Through Others
Sharing experiences and getting exposure to insights and perspectives from others is a great way to learn and develop. This might include:
- Coaching & Mentoring (Coaching/Mentoring others or being Coached/Mentored)
- Communities of Practice/Special Interest Groups (Joining or building networks/sharing learning in teams/participating in professional/industry bodies)
- Feedback (Using formal feedback tools, e.g. 360 degree feedback, as well as seeking informal feedback as part of the PDR process etc.)
Learn and Develop by Doing - Experiences
This might include:
- Expanding your scope of work – seeking available responsibility opportunities, “acting up” into a role, covering or deputising for your manager.
- Expanding your experiences – seeking available project team/working group opportunities or seeking out opportunities to experience different roles, by asking to shadow a colleague, or by getting involved in initiatives e.g. green impact , wellbeing etc, presenting at meetings, participating in interview selection panels, volunteering to assist in organisation wide events e.g. graduation. In taking responsibility for your own growth and development , you may want to consider briefly experiencing another area of work through shadowing or a longer exposure through a secondment.
Manager Tip: Think of available opportunities for different career experiences, in order to stretch employees, as part of PDR conversations. For further help, guidance and support, visit our PDR Resources.