We’ve talked several times about how human resources generalists can develop their career. But what about the specialist functions within HR, like learning and performance? That’s what today’s reader note is about.
I’m currently working in the hospitality industry and would like to eventually move into the learning / training and development department.
I am looking for a cross-training opportunity, however the company policy states that I have to wait 9 months to apply. Are there activities (i.e. books, skills, etc.) I can do in the meantime to improve my skills? My goal is to land an entry level job. Thank you for sparing your precious time to look into my query.
Many organizations ask employees to wait a few months before applying for a transfer or promotional opportunity. I know it can be frustrating, but it’s also an advantage. This is the perfect time to learn about the company, culture, and view processes with a fresh perspective. That way when you do make a move to another department, you already have some organizational knowledge. So make the most of it, because these moments don’t happen all the time.
That being said, there are some things that individuals looking to gain more exposure to the learning and development function can do. Here are five to get you started:
- Start reading some blogs focused on learning and development. This list of “The Top 10 Blogs in Learning & Development to Follow” has many of the blogs I follow. Reading blogs doesn’t cost a thing and it can often lead to finding other resources.
- Follow a few learning and development hashtags on Twitter. A couple of years ago, HR Marketer published a list of popular L&D hashtags. Also, check out #elearning #mlearning #lrnchat #gamification and #LMS. I have these saved in Twitter and review them for interesting articles and conversation.
- Connect with your local Association for Talent Development (ATD) chapter. ATD doesn’t have as many local chapters as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). But they do have chapters in many large cities. It’s also possible that, in smaller cities, they’ve created a special interest group (SIG) inside another organization.
- Create a reading list on learning and performance topics. ATD’s Northeast Florida Chapter published a suggested reading list on their website. It’s a good place to start. I’m also a big fan of TD@Work books. They’re short and practical guides with lots of job aids and takeaways.
- Get a copy of the ATD competency model. I put this one last for a reason. You can learn a lot about learning and performance through the internet, books, and association meetings. If you’re long-term goal is to stay in the L&D profession, it might make sense to get certified and understanding competencies will be essential.
Pursuing a career in learning and performance can be very exciting and rewarding. The good news is there are many resources to help professionals develop their career. What’s your go-to resource for learning and development information? Let’s start a resource list in the comments.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby just off Duval Street in Key West, FL
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