The Importance of Always Learning

“Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming. They’d rather show the highlight of what they’ve become. – Angela Duckworth author of “Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success”

In my career, I have been very blessed with opportunities, life lessons and having mentors support me in pursuing my passion. I had a lofty goal in 2009 to become an ITIL Expert and then become an Accredited ITIL trainer to teach IT Service Management. It wasn’t until 2013 that everything came together (4 years in).

The importance of continued education is something that has served me well over the last 10 years, but I believe that in parallel with other important steps helped me get where I’m at today.

Finding mentor(s)

I can honestly say without hesitation that I wouldn’t be here today without help. More importantly the help came in the form of a mentor. The reality is it came in a ‘Community’ of Mentors across several different lines of businesses. Learning comes in diverse ways but some of the best learning for me came from my mentors.

There are things you just don’t know early in your career and someone that has already gone through their own experiences can provide some great insight.

Continuous Education

‘Always be learning’ is something that I try to live by. In today’s dynamic IT environment, you should always be looking to continue your education. For me, it was to continue the path of getting other ITIL certifications and complimentary certifications (i.e lean six sigma, PMP, agile etc).

Deliberate practice makes an expert possible

Even after becoming an ITIL Expert in 2013 I wanted to keep learning my craft and using it in practice. I personally believe the best way to become an industry expert is through rigor and application -day-in and day-out. I looked for opportunities where I could teach, write and speak about ITIL both inside and outside the industry I worked in.

Read a book at least once a month

This might sound like it has nothing to do with ITIL or career growth but trust me – it does. I try to read or listen to 1 new book a month and sometimes more. Reading and re-reading ITIL material or IT Service Management books helps you look through a lens of someone else.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be in your field of study but being able to sit down and read something helps clear your mind. It also will allow you to come back to a problem you’ve been working on and think from a unique perspective.

The journey…

Most importantly about continuing to learn is the journey. Becoming an ITIL Expert started in Florida where I obtained my ITIL Foundation certification. It wasn’t until I moved to update New York that I took my next classes and didn’t finish until I was in the middle of the states. Obtaining ITIL certifications not only helped me grow personally it offered several professional opportunities that allowed me to move around the country and take some international assignments.

In today’s competitive landscape you must use all the tools you have available to you to continue to grow your skill and set yourself apart

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This blog is written by a guest blogger and is not directly affiliated with the Learning Tree blogging program.

AUTHOR:  Adam McCullough, Senior ITSM Consultant at Microsoft, ITIL® Expert

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