“My alma mater was books, a good library…”
— Malcolm X
Recently, I had to complete one of those internal online courses for my employer. If you work for a large organization, there are usually at least ten that need to be done as part of the onboarding process when you start. Then, there are a few more that need to be completed each year, most of them focused on HR and safety issues.
When you finish them all, your profile includes something like this:
That’s not there by accident. But how many people really do click through and choose electives they don’t need to for a job they already have?
While it’s true that there are evil corporations that want nothing more than faceless automatons that only care about work, it’s also true that all employers — even the evil ones — want people that are highly skilled and willing and able to continue learning. Hiring, firing, and training people is expensive and time-consuming and inefficient. No one wants an long-tenured employee that does nothing but reminisce about how great it was back before there were computers and you could smoke and drink in the office. Having a workforce that is not only fluid but also continuously improving is a huge asset to an organization of any size.
They are, in some form or another, autodidacts.
Christopher Pierznik’s nine books are available in paperback and Kindle. Check out more of his writing at Medium. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Medium, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.