Professional Growth and Educating Yourself for Success

How do you level up? How do you grow? How do you take on the knowledge for your job in the future? How do you constantly keep growing your noodle?

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Robb:  So Greg, do you read, ever?

Greg: Yeah, I’ve read a few books a time or two. I’m not an avid reader, though.

Robb: Not an avid reader. But you know how to read?

Greg: Yes, I do know how to read. You could even say I might be educated.

Robb: You’re educated? Like formally educated?

Greg:  Yes ha ha Yes.

Robb: Fantastic. Me too.

Greg: Why do you ask? I’m really curious. What’s this about?

Robb: Well, I’m just curious, how do you level up? How do you grow? How do you take on the knowledge for your job in the future? How do you constantly keep growing your noodle?

Greg: Um, yeah, you do have to read that’s part of the game. There’s the knowledge side, and there’s the experience side. But I don’t think if you don’t have the opportunity to pair those things or increase in your understanding of knowledge, your experiences are probably going to be less, I don’t know, less beneficial. So if you’re not reading, then maybe you’re listening. I’m a podcast listener. I consume a lot of information by way of podcasts. I can do that easily with my earbuds in and I can take in a lot of information in a pretty short period of time, literally while continuing to do other things. That’s one of my strategies. What about you? Are you a podcaster? Do you listen to audiobooks, or what’s your strategy?

Robb: Kind of a bit of everything. So I was reading paper books for a long time. Finally, after a lot of traveling, I was reading a lot on my iPads or getting ebooks and things like that which had some benefits. You can read them on a plane, have a dozen books with you, and not add any more weight and I always had my iPad anyway. But then I tried to evolve into audiobooks, and I’ve heard a few with audiobooks, but when I’m listening to anything I typically like to listen to music. So I’ve been struggling to get kind of latch on to the audiobook thing. But the times I have I usually turn it up to like one and a half times speed or 1.7. So that it’s like a dump of information in my head in a short amount of time with no fill and no waiting in between words. That can be a little too slow paced for me. So yeah, I’ve found a lot of benefits in that and I’m trying to get more into the rhythm of listening to these more frequently, but I’ve heard some people like doing the same thing and they go through a book a week this way. Just turn it up, listen to a book a week on their commute or on the train or whatever, like doing laundry and just constantly pushing information in your head. And I’ve found that people who tend to read more they’re always getting new ideas, they’re always learning, they’re always growing and yeah, you can really level up pretty quickly just listen to audiobooks while you’re doing laundry, the dishes, just turn it up really really fast and you can blast through book in like six hours that way.

Greg: Oh, that makes sense. That’s great advice. Um, I would also suggest on the notion of adding knowledge to your brain, then giving space after you’ve consumed that, maybe a day or two, and then go to your favorite writing environment, whether that’s a piece of paper or your iPad or something else and try to recall some of the things. What felt big? What did you learn? Could you teach some of that back? I feel like that is another way to take some of that knowledge then and to perhaps generate new ideas and sometimes another path for learning opportunity. So I’m a big fan of consuming the knowledge and then trying to get it back out in some way. And putting it in writing can sometimes anchor those thoughts so they’re not just audio only. But I don’t know, I love this tip. This is good. We have to get into the books one way or the other. Eyeballs, ears, and proved that we’ve learned it.

Robb: Alright, so level up. Book a week, audio books, 1.5 times speed and as Greg said, write it down. Lock that knowledge in.

Robert Pieper

Robert Pieper has been a licensed Professional Scrum Trainer since 2014 and National Public Speaker since 2013. Robb holds an MBA from Marquette University and an Electrical Engineering Degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering. Robb has 15 years of professional software development experience with a passion for making Scrum work delivering real products and services
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