In our age, and especially in our work-life, not learning is not an option.
This is understood and everyone wants to learn but still, most people depend upon formal learning programs at the organization level.
Importance of formal learning cannot be denied but it is possible to learn informally at the workplace and here are some thoughts on that:
- is learning through experiences of yours and others;
- can take place entirely in the workplace while doing your regular day job;
- directly depends on your observation skills and your ability to understand and apply it in the relevant context. Observe what your experienced colleagues are doing and map their actions with the results they are getting. And try to use them in your context with necessary customizations;
- is considered to be more effective in building proficiency than formal learning methods – that’s the reason while hiring a candidate, experience counts more than mere degrees in the real world;
- Often it is more relevant to actual business happenings and can directly or indirectly affect the learner – it is better for building understanding (academic path requires too much use of brain/imagination compared with this approach)
- Its main disadvantage is that it requires a good amount of personal leadership in action – if the learner is a passive person who needs a ‘structure’ to learn something, informal learning may be difficult to embrace for such a person.
- Nonetheless, apart from all the formal learning we get, if we keep our eyes and ears (and maybe nose too!) open to any kind of knowledge that can be applied practically, we will be more likely to achieve our career/business objectives.