Career Success Depends on Your Willingness to Learn
Demonstrate your Career Success for growth by embracing challenges.
- When hiring new team members, one of the most important traits that companies look for is a desire to pick up new abilities.
- Ask questions throughout the interview to show that you are eager to learn, accept new technologies, and emphasize your commitment to progress with specific instances.
- Create a resume that is specific to each job description, noting your degree of experience for each skill as well as your certifications, side projects, statistics, and soft and technical talents.
- This post is for professionals who want to show that they are eager to learn in order to succeed in their jobs.
Employers evaluate a job candidate’s present abilities and aptitude to pick up new ones when making a hiring decision. An employee’s capacity for growth is crucial, and a readiness to learn is evidence of that potential. According to a Harris Poll poll conducted in 2021, 81% of organizations place a high premium on developing this crucial soft talent.
Executives place a high value on an employee’s readiness to pick up new skills and advance within the organization, so job candidates must show that they prioritise taking on more responsibility and are flexible in their approach to change.
We’ll look at best practices and advice from professionals who want to demonstrate their eagerness to learn in order to progress their professions.
Also read: Blue Ocean Strategy: Creating Your Own Market
Why is it crucial to demonstrate your willingness to learn?
Employers need qualified people, but they also give recruiting for a cultural fit top priority. A job applicant immediately becomes a better investment when they demonstrate an openness to learning, developing, and upgrading their abilities. Show that you are eager to learn as you move along in your career so that companies may recognize your potential for advancement.
Employers can understand three crucial facts about you from your eagerness to learn:
You keep your skills up to date. Modern work practices and technology are always evolving, therefore neither should you. You indicate you’re a bright and important addition to the team by exhibiting your willingness to update your abilities, remaining current with industry trends, and consistently increasing your expertise.
You’re a good long-term investment.
Most companies evaluate whether a candidate will develop with the firm and be able to adapt to new changes when making a hiring decision. You may portray yourself as a worthwhile long-term investment by demonstrating that you are always improving your talents and learning new ones.
You’re a fast learner.
Being a quick learner is seen by 34% of employers when recruiting for senior jobs, and by 52% when hiring for lower ones. When applying for a job or earning a promotion, demonstrating that you’re enthusiastic and quick to take up new abilities and methods will work in your favour.
You’re a team player.
By actively listening to your supervisors and coworkers and being receptive to their suggestions and criticism, you may show that you are eager to learn. This demonstrates you want to gain knowledge from their opinions and experience.
How to demonstrate your willingness to learn and grow
There are several methods to demonstrate to an employer that you are enthusiastic and prepared to learn new abilities. Here are five recommendations from professionals to get you going.
1. Provide examples of how you are self-teaching.
Being a lifelong learner may sound like trite advice, but showing hiring managers that you are an active student may be quite influential.)
At Fueled, Ciara Hautau worked as a digital marketing strategist and was in charge of acquiring new employees. She explained to us that being able to remain current on trends by subscribing to sector-specific emails, reading sector blogs, and watching tutorial videos was one of the most important skills she looked for in a candidate. People trust newsletters more than actual news, according to a related article.
You’d be astonished at how many applicants can carry out the duties that have been given to them but aren’t actively studying on their own, according to Hautau. “Tools, industry standards, and technology are always evolving, especially [with a] tech firm, so it’s crucial that [new hires] keep up with current trends without supervisors pushing them to do so.”
But simply keeping up with trends is insufficient. According to Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, you should have specific examples ready to show how you’re learning that information.
Did you volunteer for a stretch project at a previous job and succeed by pushing yourself to pick up a new skill or approach? said he. “Have you self-taught yourself to become an expert in coding, or did you seek a professional certification to maintain your knowledge up to date? It’s important to offer a few stories like this in interviews.
2. Highlight your dedication to growth.
When discussing prior employment or volunteer activities, emphasize your involvement and the lessons you learnt to demonstrate your development. For instance, according to Hautau, a swift promotion in a prior employer might say a lot. Your capacity to learn fast and take on new responsibilities is demonstrated even by a slight title boost.
If you haven’t received a promotion, Hautau added, “I’d love to see what you’re actively doing to bring you to where you want to be.” “Perhaps that’s a second job that gives you more practice using your skill set, or maybe it’s joining webinars and community gatherings. Show me your involvement and excitement outside of your jobs with prior employers.
3. Embrace emerging technology.
Since many sectors are centered on technology, adopting new technology as it is released is a crucial component of contemporary progress. McDonald advises job searchers to educate themselves on the effects of new technologies on the sector of their choice. Employers will see that you are informed about important factors and current developments in your sector.
If you want to work in the tech sector, it’s crucial to embrace new technologies. Tech-focused job seekers might benefit by taking additional courses and certifications to get more expertise, in addition to reading about new technologies. Employers can tell you’re eager and capable of learning by your hands-on approach to new technologies.
4. Explain how your ideas have helped the bottom line.
Being devoted to study is insufficient. Think on the advantages your past employers received from your eagerness to learn. OneDigital’s recruitment practice leader, Harry Sivanesan, advised these job searchers to quantify their outcomes wherever feasible.
The first thing that stands out on a CV, in his opinion, is how the applicant has benefited the company’s bottom line in the past, as well as any innovative ideas they may have contributed. Numbers are reliable.
5. Ask questions in the interview.
Job seekers should take the opportunity to ask questions during the interview because it is a two-way conversation. According to Sivanesan, having well-thought-out interview questions will demonstrate you want to pick up new information. Furthermore, asking inquiries allows you to learn more about the organization and displays your willingness to do the same if you run into problems.
Ask about the business or the job description if you want, but go above and above by finding out how committed the firm is to supporting ongoing staff education. This will demonstrate your desire in continuing your professional growth after you acquire a job.
How to convey your willingness to learn on a resume
Your CV serves as a prospective employer’s initial introduction to you, so it must clearly convey both your existing credentials and abilities as well as your desire to acquire new ones.
Companies are increasingly choosing job applicants who are eager to learn because they perceive it as a chance to find a coachable employee, according to Sivanesan. Companies are starting to respect the enthusiastic and hungry applicant more than ever, and your resume’s main goal is to demonstrate to a firm how and where you can offer value.
To demonstrate your eagerness to learn, make sure your CV contains the following elements:
Software proficiency and certifications:
Your commitment to study is shown by the certifications you’ve independently obtained (such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Facebook Blueprint).
So that potential employers can see your love for your sector, list side businesses on your CV. If you have any prior experience working for yourself, include it to demonstrate your ingenuity, capacity for self-management, and performance in a demanding setting.
Statistics and KPIs:
Include numbers demonstrating how your abilities have helped your previous employers’ key performance measures.
List other qualifications to demonstrate your drive and desire to study. Select resume action words that you can back up with statistics. The following elements to include on your resume are:
Technical and soft skills:
According to McDonald, it’s essential to balance your resume’s technical and soft talents. Our job is changing due to digital transformation, which will make these abilities more crucial to enterprises.
Level of expertise for each skill:
McDonald advises adding your degree of proficiency for each important skill area in addition to your talents and certifications. It demonstrates to the company where you thrive and where you’re prepared to grow. This might range from beginner to advanced.
Engagement in professional communities:
Being a part of specialist groups may demonstrate your dedication to the business, willingness to keep up with current trends, and interest in enhancing relevant abilities, in addition to assisting you in expanding your professional network.
Skills that match the job description:
Sivanesan advises customizing the abilities included on your CV to correspond with a particular job description. You can mention your talents in accordance with the “recommended qualifications” and “minimum requirements” sections included in the majority of job descriptions.
“You may also provide a quick summary of what you learnt in your past employment that you were unfamiliar with on your resume,” Sivanesan advised.
How to develop your willingness to learn
Although your natural curiosity plays a large role in this crucial soft skill, there are ways to increase your drive to learn so you may develop in your job and stand out from the competition. Here are some suggestions to get you going:
Identify what you need to learn.
Consider what duties you could be avoiding or finding difficult to do at work because you lack the necessary information or abilities. You may focus on areas that require improvement as a result of this. If your duties have grown over time, think about whether you’ve received the right training to handle them. List the abilities you need to acquire or enhance, and consider obtaining assistance to increase your expertise.
Set short-term learning goals.
Ask your management which abilities they believe might help you advance in your position and whether your current talents need to be upgraded if you receive frequent performance reports or feedback. The next review will have a clear deadline if it has a set date.
Set long-term development goals.
Think about your professional objectives and pinpoint the talents you need to develop to reach them. Consider the managerial talents that your present manager uses to be successful if you’re interested in moving up to a management role, and focus on developing or strengthening those skills. Additionally, participating in pertinent debates and events and actively networking may help you widen your viewpoint and identify opportunities for growth.
Take advantage of company training.
Look into the training options offered by your firm, and don’t be afraid to take use of them. Take part in a session on utilizing new equipment, go to an appropriate conference, use online training tools, or sign up for a sponsored learning course, as just a few examples.
Career-advancement tips to follow
The professionals we spoke with also recommended several crucial tactics for broad career growth.
1. In the job interview, show rather than tell.
Give instances from your job to demonstrate your talents rather than simply stating that you are talented in a certain area. Instead of just stating that you are a committed lifelong student, demonstrate your commitment to education by listing current certifications you have attained or webinars you have attended.
Tell tales of the things you did at past employers. Did you ask to be sent to a seminar or conference? Did you learn a new skill outside of your primary duties to reduce the strain on your teammates? Did you use a method or piece of information you picked up from a business book? Real-world examples are invariably powerful.
2. Don’t exaggerate to potential employers.
Sivanesan advised against exaggerating your accomplishments and knowledge, even if you might be tempted to do so. If you don’t know how to do anything, say that you’d want to learn it instead.
A typical error made by ambitious candidates is to overpromise, which increases the chance of disappointing your new employer, according to Sivanesan. Companies are more intrigued by self-awareness and your efforts to advance your career. It’s a wonderful indication that you will be able to aid them if you can demonstrate to them that you can take care of yourself.
3. Be proactive when seeking a promotion.
For instance, McDonald recommended that staff members engage in voluntary work outside of their usual duties.
To gain a promotion, Sivanesan continued, you must do the duties before they are assigned to you. “I’ve seen a lot of employees wait to be instructed to take on new tasks instead of stepping up and doing the work right away. Long-term riches will be created by becoming a selfless team member without being instructed to.
4. Be a ‘learn-it-all’ in your career.
Since taking over as Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, Satya Nadella has made a growth mentality a crucial part of the corporate culture. He believed that a leader and an ideal employee should both seek to learn everything possible rather than assume they already know everything. Nadella noted that a youngster who has less intrinsic talent but is open to learning would always perform better in the long term than a child who is more skilled but arrogant.
Both job applicants and employees must adhere to this rule. If you declare yourself to be an authority on a subject, it may be a sign that you won’t actively look for opportunities to learn more. On the other hand, being honest about your ignorance and willingness to learn might be advantageous.
Embracing a willingness to learn
The key to job success is demonstrating your commitment to learn new skills, keep up with industry trends, and always enhance your performance and expertise. It may help establish you as a valuable team member, a wise long-term investment for the business, and a deserving promotion candidate.
Additionally, continually looking for ways to develop yourself can help you advance your profession, stay smart, enjoy your work more, and make the most of any new chances.