Combine some curiosity with a bit of jittery tension, add in a dash of enthusiasm and what do you get?
Probably some smoke and a mild cough, followed by my first blog.
So as I sit here, fingers chomping at the bit to begin, I realize that’s actually me… chomping on some leftovers.
What can I say? I need brain food.
I decided to go with something that we all hear from someone at a point in time, but don’t realize it’s true value until we experience it ourselves: learning.
That’s right- I’m blogging about learning!
I always knew the smartest people I had ever encountered were big readers. Even though most articles and general reading can occur on the Internet now, I decided to try to become one of these people and actually put a book in my hands. It had been too long since I had sat down and read a hard-copy book. So last Saturday I started with a short one, recommended by PRSSA National, and finished within the hour. Afterwards, I strolled into the public library and decided to check out some more books. I decided that since I’m working on a personal goal that may help my professional future; I would look in the Business section under “Leadership”. Then I found the golden book that I’m reading right now and absolutely in love with: “Power Networking: 55 Secrets to Personal and Professional Success”. It may sound silly, but the key here is that you can find a book about something you are interested in learning, and then the rewards flow magnificently.
I feel as if many of us may not realize this untapped resource that will benefit each of us in our own way. This isn’t classroom learning like a lecture, watching a Powerpoint, or working on group projects. This is building on your own interests from the words of others!
Another word, not so fun in nature but with practical use comes to mind about learning: research.
Ew. It just sounds boring, right?
It is so much more important than you would initially think. In order to get a job, the person interviewing should probably know something about the company. <–Exhibit A.
When you go on vacation, you would probably like background information about the location, lodging, and tourism. <–Exhibit B.
How about dating? This may be more informal in usage, but I can’t imagine most relationships get far without learning about each other. <–Exhibit C.
Any way you dissect it, research is beneficial in many walks of life. As a Public Relations student, I’m realizing every day how helpful research can be. If you’re not sure which audience you want to address, your message can get lost among the sea of messages every organization is pumping out. I think the http://www.instituteforpr.org/research/ site sums it up best in their very first sentence: “Public relations research can serve to define not only what we know, but also what we don’t. ” We want to know our publics well, and in order to do so, we have to reduce uncertainty about them. Research is the best way to do this.
Besides sheer curiosity, learning on your own time can give you many powerful tools. Taking that knowledge and putting it into action can also provide the ability to grow. Even though it’s as overused as they come, I still operate by a few simple phrases…
One of them being: There’s always room to grow.