Russell Sarder, CEO of NetCom Learning, has developed a five step framework for getting the most out of learning so that you can transform yourself and become successful. Russell stresses that it is important to develop and follow a plan to reach both personal and career goals. According to Zig Zigler, “You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan.” As Russell points out this plan for learning is an evolutionary process one that involves constantly evaluating and assessing progress and making needed changes along the way. Russell’s five step learning plan allows for growth and changes, creating a five step plan that can be used to become a lifelong learner and to reach a business, career, or a personal goal all through the process of learning.
Step One: Learning Goals
Napoleon Hill, the author of, “Think and Grow Rich,” stated that a goal is a dream with deadlines. Before signing up for classes or starting a self study program it is important to figure out your learning goals and set deadlines for yourself to attain these goals. Do you have a position or a particular career in mind? What are you passionate about? You need to think about both immediate goals and long term goals. Your immediate goal may be to become employed but long term you see yourself in a management position or as an entrepreneur. It is important to spend time figuring out exactly what you want to do with your life so you can start on the process to attain your goals. Your interests may change along the way as you find an affinity for a particular type of job or industry. Start with the basics and set attainable goals for yourself.
Step Two: Learning Domains
Learning domains refers to determining the type of skills or learning will help you reach your immediate goal. If you are interested in a career in information technology but you are new to the field, this means determining coursework that will provide entry level skill sets to get you started in a career in IT. If you are an experienced IT professional but are looking to get into management, this could mean taking coursework in project management and the development of leadership skills.
Step Three: Learning Methods
Learning methods are the different types of learning you need to achieve your goal. It is important to remember that people learn differently and to take that into consideration as you determine your method for learning. For a career goal, you will want to take advantage of as many different learning methods that are open to you such as on the job training, learning from other employees, studying on your own, taking classes, and finding individuals willing to coach or mentor you.
Step Four: Learning Solutions
Learning solutions concerns the coursework you will need to reach your career goal. This is where you determine what type of learning experiences work for you. Do you do best in a traditional classroom setting? Is private training or customized training the best option for your learning style? Maybe you work best under pressure and you want to get through the training as quickly as possible, be certified and get to work. In this case, accelerated training or an intensive boot camp could be the answer.
Step Five: Learning Evaluation
Step five is the most important part of the learning plan. This is where you evaluate what you have learned and determine whether you are getting the best return on your investment in education. Ask yourself if you have been able to successfully apply what you have learned and has the training affected your company’s bottom line in a positive way. Has the training led to the achievement of an immediate goal or contributed to reaching a long term goal? Perhaps the training has led to new interests and new goals. Use this step to look at your list of goals and make any necessary changes in your career path as you work to achieve success.
NetCom Learning’s Plan
- Learning Plan: Database
- Learning Plan: Design & Drafting
- Learning Plan: IT Professional
- Learning Plan: Programming (Mobile, Web, Windows)