During this morning's L&D Talk Show we all discussed why we love what we do. Training, Learning and Development professionals are unique. None of us grew up knowing we wanted to do this work. And for most of us, this is our second career. Some have been accountants, musicians, artists, rocket scientists, and just about every other field. We all come from different backgrounds. But what we discovered today was that there are 3 common interests that draw us into this world of training, learning, and development: Creativity, Empathy, and a love of learning.
Everything we do is about problem solving. And problem solving requires a creative mind. The ability to see things others don't. To put things together that others wouldn't think about connecting. We call it instructional design, but I'm convinced most of us have stronger connections to the design side of the equation. Design thinking is a popular movement that has gained interest with training practitioners. The basics of design are relevant in all artistic creative endeavors and instructional design is no different. We love to make stuff.
We are also a very helpful bunch of folks. Ask anyone who has taught any topic and they will describe the joy of seeing a student "get it". Helping others improve themselves, the work, and the business is what drives us. At least it should be the main driver of our efforts. A natural desire to help others is common in many fields, but it's not necessary in every part of a corporate ecosystem. However, to be successful in training and L&D it's not only necessary, but it's usually just something naturally inside each of us who have chosen this path.
The Love of Learning
I always loved to learn but I mostly hated school. The dozen of us hanging out this Monday morning in blab.im agreed. We all love to learn. It could be because we all get bored so easily. Every project brings with it new things to learn, with new problems to solve, and an opportunity to apply a different solution. The desire to learn is more of a hunger. A powerful urge to figure out a problem, try something new, and perhaps fail, but learn something in the process. We're also a social bunch. Enjoying spending time with our peers teaches us something new about ourselves, and others, every day. An opportunity to learn something new is our favorite thing.