One of the key skills that will help you succeed in your career already lies within you: understanding the way you learn. Focusing on what topics are relevant to your needs, and knowing when and how you digest information, can help you unleash your learning potential as you advance along your career path.
For me, it’s a rewarding process to help others learn and grow, and I’ve been lucky enough throughout my career to have been involved in training and development in one way or another. Now, as IMAs vice president of education and career services, my team and I are tasked with providing a variety of continuing education learning opportunities for financial professionals in business. These programs and services need to be delivered in a variety of formats in order to help professionals maximize learning. But, it’s also important for individuals to understand their learning preferences.
Here are a few things to ask yourself when deciding if an educational opportunity is right for you:
Will the topic help you grow your knowledge, skills, and abilities to be more effective on the job and progress in your career? Is it mandatory to continue holding a certification?
As a busy professional, it’s important to continue your professional education, but it’s also important to choose a topic that is relevant to your personal and professional goals.
How does the training opportunity fit in with the rest of your commitments? Do you have the time needed to attend live workshops, conferences, or events? Is your preference to leverage self-study online courses accessible at convenient times from the comfort of your home or business? Or, does a webinar given at a prescribed time in which a speaker presents on a topic in real time interest you instead?
Determining the right environment and format can help prepare you for an ideal learning experience.
Lastly, but also very importantly, what type of learner are you? There are generally three types of learners: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
- Visual learners absorb information better when viewing pictures, diagrams, or other visual representations of concepts. Such learners may want to participate in courses that are more visuals based and less text based.
- Auditory learners learn best by listening to directions and information and verbally sharing information with others. Courses including lectures and engagement through team exercises may benefit these learners the most.
- In contrast to visual and auditory learners, kinesthetic learners prefer to be actively involved and enjoy hands-on learning. Educational courses that include practice tests, knowledge checks, and case studies are important to such learners.
It’s helpful to understand your preferred learning style so that educational opportunities can enrich your learning experience.
Setting Yourself Up For Success
Growing your professional knowledge, skills, and abilities is critical to progressing in your current position and, more importantly, in your future career. Understanding your professional developmental needs, course preferences, and learning style will help with your growth.
With more than 300 online self-study courses available 24/7, webinars on management accounting and leadership topics three to five times per month, and in-person conferences and events typically including lectures and networking opportunities, IMA is dedicated to offering a variety of learning approaches. Check out IMA’s Learning Center for more information. You can also view our new learning assessment tool, CareerDriver, to match your skills to 40 management accounting roles and build a development plan as a guide to the next step in your career.
Written by Debbie Warner, CPLP
The Creative Brain – Ned Herrmann