One of the greatest things about college (yes, besides the parties) is that learning is guaranteed. You sign up for a class, get a syllabus, and have a professor guide you through a topic. I think one of the toughest parts of transitioning to life as a college student to life as a professional is taking control of your own continuous learning. So, this semester, I asked my students in my training and development class to create a plan for developing their own daily information feed that they will use as professionals. I am sharing my own daily information feed and continuous learning practices below. My daily information feed enables me to stay informed, connected, and knowledgeable in my profession to further community based learning. And sometimes, it just amuses the hell out of me!
My Daily Information Feed
I am a business professor so I have to keep up. Every day I have smart twenty-year olds to teach, an eleven-year old son to impress, and my professional community of up-and-coming mentoring and career scholars nipping at my heels. So I need information! Here’s how I do it.
The first thing I do every morning is grab my iphone and read the Daily Word. This usually has a passage from the Bible that helps me stay centered and calm which helps before I dive into all the rest. Then, I check out my LinkedIn Pulse. I get great information from people, companies, and news outlets I am following. So I learn things like a recent study that shows that CEO’s share many of the same personality traits as psychopaths Click here to read that article.
Or for another perspective a recent article from Huffington Post on “Rethinking Work and Well being that offers a hopeful vision for the future of work.” Then, I check my Twitter feed which has a mix of hard news items and silly dreck that amuses me (my favorite tweet recently retweeted by Shonda Rimes was about a Chinese woman who was dumped by her mean boyfriend and to console herself she went to KFC, stayed there for a week, and ate fried food until she could deal again..I get that, I really do). Click here to read that article. I follow everyone who is anyone in mentoring and keep up with my fellow mentoring scholars and practitioners so I am in the know and I can learn from them and support their work.
Next, it is time to feed my love of learning the old fashioned way. Every day, I read or shall I say peruse the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and when I am on campus The New York Times and The Loyolan as well. I love to have a cup of tea, eat my breakfast and read the papers—simple pleasures are the best. Lots of times, I see articles that pertain to something one of my students is presenting on, I am teaching about, or just something someone I care about needs to know. So in the spirit of 80 year old Uncle Ray, I clip out articles and put them in a big file or pass them on to someone who needs them.
I also get my information from the TV news and sometimes even Fox News. I make a full confession here that I am a proud liberal but my beloved husband is not so much. So, Steve tells me what the conservative pundits are saying along with the breaking news of the day and even some sports snippets that my tiny uninterested girlie mind can digest. This way I can be informed without subjecting myself to hearing mean things about my Obama. So, Steve watches TV and I read the papers and together we are somewhat informed as a couple.
As the day wears on, I might check my newsfeed on Facebook which is not hard news but is how I found out that there was a shooting at Seattle Pacific University as it was going on from a professor on the spot (thankfully my dear friend and grad school buddy was okay). I also like to read magazines at lunch like Fast Company, America magazine, or take a dive into Huffington Post. This semester I am teaching Training and Development so I check into the Training groups on LinkedIn and read the hard copies of Training magazine.
At night, I read books – usually online. Right now I am reading Thrive by A. Huffington and Flourishby D. Goleman.
What are your habits and sources for being a continuous learner in your profession and for your life? What are your favorite books, websites, blogs, or sources of information? In other words what’s your daily information feed like?