Why It’s Good to Learn on the Job

In life, we’re always arming ourselves with new skills, whether we realise it or not. Learning new skills can bring about the ability to be independent and help us do more things.

Around the home you wouldn’t think twice about learning a new method to cook something, teach yourself to build a shelving unit or even learn the finer art of crochet. So why shouldn’t we learn new skills at the place where we spend most of our time and is the focus of so much of our energy? Let’s face it, you’re always evolving at work whether or not you are aware of it.

How many people can actually say their role at work encompasses the same skills as they had when they first began their job. We’re pretty sure that answer is no one. Whether you pick up new skills involuntarily or because you’ve sought them yourself – you should never underestimate the importance of learning new things at work.

learning on the jobYour brain is a big muscle that likes to be worked out even more so than the muscles of a body builder. So if you are a fan of physical exercise maybe it’s time to harness some of that enthusiasm and channel that into your work life and skill up. Just because your days of formal education are over doesn’t mean your learning ceases too.

At work, learning something new cannot only bring about immense satisfaction but it can propel you further in your career. We think most people do have some form of career aspirations, whether it’s to make a career change, secure a promotion, complete a task more efficiently or to feel happier at work.

What many people forget is that just because the physical classroom no longer exists, that to acquire new knowledge means returning to a formal setting for training which can be cumbersome for many. The truth is, we are very lucky to live in a modern world where technology brings a whole array of skills to your fingertips.

Need to learn how to use a particular program? Chances are there’ll be an online guide or YouTube video to help you out. Or if you need to learn a whole array of skill sets why not do an online course through an open university, correspondence course or from tutorials set up by places like General Assembly, who offer innovative courses and lessons in thoroughly modern topics like Digital Marketing and Mobile Development.

Even here at IYBI we’re always learning something new or finding better ways of doing tasks. You should be wary of a designer or developer who doesn’t seek out a little help from resources from time to time. As they say, everyday is a school day!

Whether you learn things involuntarily or because you’ve sought them out yourself – you should never underestimate the importance of being nimble


The workplace can be a competitive environment. There’s always someone out there who wants your job and wants to do it better than you: so don’t let them!

It can be easier said than done of course but one way of staying ahead of the pack is to be knowledgeable and be in possession of all the current skills required in your field. A lot of people tend to bury their heads in the sand feeling that length of time in a job and formal qualifications are suffice enough – and maybe at one time they were, but times have definitely changed and you have always got to keep up with the times.

Industries that are technology based tend to change at a rapid pace – including our own design industry. Skills you learnt at university or school, may be incredibly outdated by now or even totally obsolete so it’s crucial to always be seeking out new skills.

Think about it from a consumer or potential clients’ perspective: you’d always pick the company or individual that is up to date in their knowledge which in turn will produce some cutting edge results. We sure would. At IYBI, we’re always learning and picking up new skills along the way which makes us even stronger as an agency.

We recently built an eBay store for a client of ours after there was a clear hole in the market – no one else out there in design land appears to be doing anything like this or has the skills to be able to do so. We had to learn the skills to make it happen, but are now one of the only creative agencies who has the right skills and experience to create incredible results in this niche area. It’s the perfect example of how important skilling up can be to get you ahead of the game.

avoid becoming a vampireLike evolution and the survival of the fittest or most nimble the same is most definitely true in the professional world. If you look closely you’ll notice that it was time and an inability to relate to change that was slowly killing Lestat; a theme revisited more than once with so long immortal characters in film.

And while you read this you may be breaking out in a cold sweat, there’s no need to panic because you may already have some useful skills that you can utilize. Outside of work do you have any hobbies you are good at, or maybe picked up some nice skills at a previous job or different profession? Have you ever thought about merging them with your current work?

Maybe you’re an amateur photographer with some really great skills, or an illustrator or talented writer but you’ve never considered revealing this fact outside of your personal life. But guess what – there’s no need to keep things separate.

We recommend bringing some of these skills and experiences to the table – it could really strengthen your work and professional life and perhaps even reinvigorate things too. IYBI is a small agency but everyone in the team brings a unique personal set of skills on top of their professional foundations. Everyone has learnt things off one another which makes the agency incredibly nimble and responsive.

We have a multidisciplinary approach which sets us apart from other companies in our field. By having a workforce that is multi-skilled strengthens teams, creates more interesting results and provides more variety within a role which in turn makes a happy workforce. It also helps when people are sick or away unexpectedly!

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by Radi Safi

Radi Safi is the Creative Director at IYBI. In 2012 he launched Happy, a music blog and media company.
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