Look, doing is good. It’s better than not doing, for sure. When I say doing, by the way, I mean doing the things that need to be done. In your work, for instance. You should do your instructional design, your strategy. That’s all good. However, I want to suggest, it’s not enough. Don’t just do, do more! At least, if you want to continue to learn (and you should; let’s not talk about the alternative, but either you’re growing, or, well, you’re not).
What I’m talking about, here, is that just doing your job isn’t a bad thing, but you can and should do more. Most folks I talk to, at local chapter events and the like, want to go above. That’s why they’re there, after all. People say they want to learn and they want to get recognition. I’ve previously addressed that, talking about writing session descriptions. But there’s more.
I’ve also written about being an expert. Having a unique voice, a perspective, and sharing it. I think that’s important, too. However, there’s one more step I suggest that I don’t seem to have shared before. And that’s doing more.
First, of course, is taking advantage of opportunities to learn. I happen to know there are many free webinars. There are also talks that you can attend for a low fee. For more, you can attend online or in-person workshops. Then there are conferences. You likely will want to get your org to pay, but maybe even sometimes put in your own money. If you’ve a commute or other time, listen to podcasts, there are lot of those free too again I happen to know.
Read books; I work out my local library heavily, not just for fiction (which I devour), but also non-fiction. Interlibrary loan is a gift, use it if you can! Certain books are worth buying, creating a valuable library. I’ve got a shelf next to my desk that’s full of some of the best books known, so I can grab them to refer to certain things.
As you get your mind around the field, you’ll start seeing things in different ways. Not only will your work improve, but you’ll begin to find your own voice, a step on the way to expertise. Wrestle with things, and then share when they make sense. You’ll likely help others.
Then, do one further step. Don’t just attend the local chapter events, and conferences, contribute. Serve on a committee. There’s a lot to be learned in this way. You’ll meet folks, get exposed to new ideas, and make it easier to go further. It’s a good stepping stone on the way to speaking, for one. It’s also a way to give back to those who’ve contributed.
Sure, you can just do your job. Exist. Consume and produce. But I think there’s more to life, and I think if you’re here, you agree. So, here’re some concrete actions to take. Don’t just do, do more.