A lot of us
end up in the job we do by accident not through deliberate choice. Those who do
may have been influenced by a key person in their lives (peer group, parent,
mentor). Ideally, we could understand our strengths and talents first, blended
with a passion and a purpose then seek the educational opportunities that help
us on that journey.
When I was
on that journey myself, it did not make sense at the time. All I knew was that
education was my ticket out of the working class, into a life that gave me more
choices. I did not want to be stuck there. Knowledge was power and putting that
knowledge into action was something I could do and share with others.
That objective (of getting a good education) was given to me by my parents, they grew up in a different era (during WW2) where education was a luxury their families could not afford. Both left to go to work to earn money before they graduated “matriculated school with no qualifications" just good hard work ethics. They had no real idea what that “good education” looked like for me but enabled me to go through school, and University and into the workforce.
I have learned so many life lessons and professional skills in places I did not know at the time would be so significant. For much of my university life I worked in the car factory that my father worked in. As a child I was also tagging along with him, after school and weekends. I played in the cars, climbed up gantries and through paint booths, pretended to be a receptionist on the intercom.
As a young adult it was all on and I loved the contrast between the grass roots practical side of what I was doing alongside the intellectual study. Back then no one said you could have a career in workplace learning – it was not a “thing” you could study. But I lapped up learning about quality assurance, production lines and all manner of human behaviour. I remember the first calculator and the first DOS computer data entry phase. This came to serve me well in years to come.
Its only in retrospect that I see my love of learning led to my love of sharing that learning with others. I did not aspire to be a primary or secondary teacher but once out in the workforce I had multiple opportunities to learn and teach others. And so, I took them and eventually it has led to me created two learning and development businesses.
So that is what I have spent the past 30 years doing – workplace learning.
I do it
because I love it. I love seeing the light switch on for people and help them
move from a place of not knowing to knowing to action. I do it as a legacy from
my parents through to my children and future generations to come - to give them
opportunities to grow and develop.
Take time to reflect why you do what you do.
If you need help, try our short course to stimulate your thinking.