Professional development is a constant undertaking to evergreen learners. An evergreen learner will grow regardless of the season, role, manager or employer.
Early in my career, I waited for a directive to take a new course or apply a new skill. But over time, I’ve learned that I am an evergreen learner and that it’s best to take professional development into my own hands.
NEVER WAIT FOR PERMISSION TO GROW. LEARN SOMETHING NEW. THEN APPLY IT IN WAYS ONLY YOU CAN.
That said, I have also learned professional development is much easier when it’s encouraged or supported by management. Here are some questions you should get answered during the interview process if you are an evergreen learner.
10 Questions Every Evergreen Learner Should Ask a Potential Manager:
- Where do you find professional inspiration?
- What podcasts, blogs, or professional development organizations do you belong/subscribe to?
- Who are the thought leaders or industry experts you admire? Why?
- What books or authors have had the most influence on your career?
- What was the last skill you learned?
- What was the last skill you taught?
- When was the last time someone in your department was promoted? Tell me about that experience.
- What is your performance feedback strategy? How will I know am exceeding your expectations (…because I will!)?
- How do you expect this position to grow? What skills and knowledge may be needed 6 months from now? 1 year? 5 years?
- What is the professional development strategy for your employees? How do people here grow?
And for all you leaders out there…you best be able to answer these questions. The best talent demands it!