Updated 2/17/2021. Originally published 1/20/2015.

Our workplace lives are spent with people who are not our biological families.

We may spend more waking hours with our colleagues than with our friends and family. During our working lives, we encounter success, challenges, failures, and recurrent change. Ideally, we can develop new skills as the needs of the business change.

While traveling the roadmap of our careers,  it is possible to align current expertise with newfound skills.  Ideally, there is an opportunity for mentors and periodic skills assessment.  This allows the workplace learner to gain feedback, and if necessary, pivot or adjust the chosen career aspirations to reflect an ever-changing workplace.

Below are some considerations to consider. Which will you choose?  

The articles below identify possible choices and considerations when you arrive at the career roadblock.

  • Pass the Opportunity On – The ability to provide quality, effective training may not be an inherent talent. With self-motivation, ability, and a detailed, quality Train-the-Trainer program, an aspiring instructor candidate or SME may seize the opportunity and become a qualified, engaging, corporate trainer.
  • Double Dare – Throughout our careers or periodically during our workplace lives, we may find ourselves at a professional crossroads. It may be time to review our accomplishments and pivot our upcoming work goals – to update our work-life “bucket list”.
  • Do-Over” or Go Forward – With the proper training, what appears initially to be a failure, may, expose a potential or provide an opportunity to grow in another direction. A key element is the ability to pivot past the “failure”, embrace the new opportunity and move forward

During a career, with any level of success, we are frequently given the opportunity to share the wealth of knowledge or mentor a fellow co-worker, or onboard the new hires within your team. 

  • When providing the training, or the skills transfer, how will you know when enough is enough? 
  • Will you recognize when the co-worker is on information overload?
  • How do you keep them engaged in the learning and gain the necessary knowledge?

The articles below identify techniques that can be utilized to engage a learner.  Engagement improves the ability to gain necessary skills to meet business needs.

  • Make it Relevant – How do you know when the “key topics” will be addressed? How will you realize that the important part of the class that you paid to attend is about to be discussed? Active listening and key trigger words help focus and alert the audience to valuable content related to their job responsibilities. A highly skilled trainer will verbally outline the training objectives, the expected skills to be attained and will identify relevant content to the audience.
  • We Must Do… and Take Action – There is an assumption that learning has been completed and the appropriate job actions will be taken. Is that always true? Does attendance in workplace training ensure that the new skills will be utilized (if at all) effectively? What if the participation was reluctant? Did learning take place?
  • Roaring Silence – Silence may be golden, except when you ask the audience a question and receive no response. What methods can be used to manage the situation, and encourage greater participation from the audience? What techniques encourage more detailed responses than others?

Career paths are never quite the straight line of yesteryear.  Careers are no longer a single path, with decades at a single organization with singular skills.  Opportunities available today look differently in the workplace of the future.  With attention to the changing climate, learning new skills and sharing our knowledge with effective training methods, we can make effective career decisions.

  • Should we stay the course?
  • Should we share the knowledge wealth?
  • Is it time to pivot in another direction and take learning to a new horizon?

These are important issues to resolve.