Within our everyday lives, we never stop learning. I often find myself saying: “You learn something new every day.” It applies to all areas of life: from the random little facts that only ever pop up in pub quizzes, to details about my partner or a friend, or even a handy new way of chopping veg. You have experiences and learn without even realising.
When it comes to your career, continuous learning can be a little less spontaneous and effortless. I feel that in some ways, you have to want to learn. As I’ll mention, this isn’t everything; some forms of learning are spontaneous. I try to look out for these opportunities and remember them, so my knowledge and skills are expanded.
I think that my views on continuous learning presently have been greatly influenced by my previous job. My management consistently gave the staff team learning opportunities through online training, courses, and meetings. Often this would come at the end of a busy day when I would be tired and admittedly a little less eager to learn. But, I always found that these opportunities led me to be a much better and more confident employee over time.
I took these views with me when it came to beginning my current career. Luckily, I started out with some natural skill that was really supportive to my learning. When I realised the path I wanted to go down, I did a shit-ton of googling, researching, and reading about what I would need to become a proofreader/copy editor. Because I felt an immediate desire to do this for real, it really spurred me on. I do think that you have to have that drive and enthusiasm for your line of work.
I moved on to completing a Level 4 Diploma in copy editing and proofreading. I immersed myself within the diploma, going beyond the minimum of learning you had to do to pass. As a result, I ended with a Distinction, of which I’m pretty proud. Upon completing this, I knew I’d always need to continuously update, relearn and develop. I find I learn a lot through following like-minded people on social media and using websites. There are nearly always opportunities for learning that you don’t have to pay for.
So far, the manuscripts and writing that I’ve worked on have been on different genres, with different lengths, writing styles, and things to look out for. Nobody writes the same way, so I continuously learn through the work that my clients give me. I always find myself rechecking and learning different rules, as there are so many that can crop up with each project. Look out for how your everyday working career gives you opportunities to learn and relearn as you go, in small random moments.
I continue to learn because:
I think it’s essential to give my clients what they deserve and what I promise within this website and on my social media pages.
I genuinely love the work I do and find it rewarding.
It allows me to be consistently and increasingly confident.
As the world changes and evolves, I want to do the same. For example: language and the way that we write over time changes. Look how different books are now to books not even 100 years old. Each year brings about change and trends within the literary word. Look at the use – or lack of use of the word ‘whom.’
Looking toward the future, I aim to take a few more courses to top up my knowledge and learn some new things that will support me in my job. I’m hoping to have money to set aside to join the CIEP, which would bring me more opportunities for continuous learning. But as I mentioned, I feel that I find myself continuously learning every day, through the evolution of my work and the variety of clients and projects I undertake.