August 2, 2016

Technical Instruction or Career Mentoring?

Homepage Image 4-COLOR - croppedLecture an apprentice, they learn for a day. Teach them how to never stop asking questions, they learn for a lifetime.

The ITS (Information Transport Systems) world is cutting edge, competitive, and in a constant state of change, so as you can imagine, training in this field is also a fast moving target, which can be challenging at times. Three significant contributors to this challenge include:

  • Advancements in Technology: Moore’s Law tells us that processing power for computers will double every two years. This leaves the tech industry in a state where half of it is cutting edge and barrier-breaking, while the other half is steering towards obsolescence.
  • Competitive Manufacturers: There is a lot of money to be made in the ITS market, so manufacturers have to be versatile, innovative, and ambitious to keep up with the constantly-changing industry.
  • The Cloud: Cloud computing is utilized in every industry; therefore the incredible demands brought on by data center growth are driving R&D to push the envelope of what was once thought to be impossible. This fueled growth creates new products not only for the data center world, but for the enterprise level as well.

Through my experiences as a Technical Training Consultant at Faith Technologies, I’ve quickly learned how important it is to keep up-to-date with the ever-changing ITS world. I’ve found it’s just as important to instruct technical curriculum, as it is to teach and model successful behaviors, and five things I try to model the value of to my apprentices include:

  • Embracing Change: Accepting that the industry, your employer, and your skill sets will always be in a state of change.
  • Battling Complacency: Be ready to learn something new every day. Just when you think you’ve achieved a new level of proficiency in a certain skill, you may discover an entire new tier of understanding. “Rinse and Repeat!”
  • Being Honest and Modest: Ridding yourself of any fears associated with admitting that you don’t understand, or that might prevent you from asking a question. Alternatively, you may only think you understand. Try repeating or rephrasing recently taught information back to your instructor in the form of a real world application, and you might find this invites some very beneficial conversation and a greater understanding of the concept at hand.
  • Being a Product of Your Environment: Always aim to position yourself so you’re surrounded by successful people who also want to see you succeed. These people often have an infectious amount of passion in their work that will support and drive you through your career.
  • Channeling Your Passion: Do you have a job… or a career? People who find passion in their job are often the most successful because they care enough to have an “always willing to learn” kind of attitude.

Faith Technologies’ learning and development team has one mission: to support the growth and development of all employees to achieve individual and organizational excellence. As a member of this team, it’s a privilege and extremely rewarding to play a key role in the success of this mission.

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” – Albert Einstein

What behaviors, attitudes, or practices do you have or use to keep yourself current in your line of work?