About That Gap On Your Resume


When you’ve been out of work for some time, one of your concerns is going to be that large gap on your résumé. And why is that a concern? Primarily because you know it’s going to be a concern for the people who are going to be mulling over hiring you versus those you’re competing with.

You should expect some questions which ask you to share what you’ve done with yourself during the present gap. Now there are many things you could say in reply, but one of the poorest things would be to shrug your shoulders and say, “Not much really.” That kind of response isn’t going to impress anyone, let alone someone considering hiring you. The thing is though, what if that’s the truth?

Well, you certainly can’t change what’s happened in the past; after all it’s called the past for a reason. You can however, do something in the present which will allow you to improve your answer in your future interviews. So rather than feeling bad about having not done much, feel better about choosing to do something now.

What can you do aside from get a job to fill in gaps on your résumé you ask? Excellent question and I’m so glad you asked!

Volunteer your time. Donating your time to support a cause can be immensely beneficial in a number of ways. For starters, yes you get to fill in the gap on your résumé with a new experience. From your first shift wherever it is you give of yourself, you’ll be establishing a relationship with someone in charge of supervising you and that person is your future reference possibly. But there’s more… You’ll feel good. Suddenly you have purpose again; you’ll feel appreciated and valued when you show up. You’ll also be practicing skills that may have otherwise started to rust, such as customer service if you work with the public, communication skills, teamwork skills and you’re going to find you enjoy being productive.

Upgrade your education. Whether it’s going back to finish your grade 12 or that one course that would complete your College Diploma or University Degree, now might be a great time to invest in yourself and complete what you started years ago. No, it’s not a waste of time, nor is it too expensive to consider doing while you’re out of work. It might just be a spark that changes your future and ignites some passion into your soul where you thought the fire had long been extinguished. You’ll have a reason to get up and get out, charge your little brain cells in ways that have been dormant, and you’ll finish off with a great sense of accomplishment. Day school or night school, full-time or part-time, online or in-class, there’s so many options!

Get healthy. I know! I know! Being out of work you’ve developed some unsavory habits and that lethargy has made you feel overly tired, the muscle tone you had once upon a time has disappeared and perhaps your weight has changed more or less; literally speaking. In short, you might not feel as good about your health or appearance as you used to. Okay, but again, stop beating yourself up about the choices you made in the past and resolve to make some better ones now. Go for walks and turn those walks into walks and short jogs. Turn those short jogs into longer ones or even a run or two. Eat better and healthier; don’t buy at the grocery store what you’ll feel bad about eating if it shows up in the pantry or fridge at home. See the Doctor and Dentist now and address the things which will help you ultimately feel better and present yourself better to others.

Pick up part-time work. Choosing to look for a part-time job and one outside your field doesn’t have to be an admission of failure. In fact, picking up a part-time job can have immense benefits. First of all it does fill the gap on the résumé with something. You can make the case to a future employer that you filled the gap with a job to stabilize your finances but you’re applying for whatever the job is you’re interviewing for because you want to get back into your field of training and experience. That part-time job will get you back into a routine gradually if you’re not up to a full-time job and being accountable every day.

Now the other thing you can do is some self-assessment. There’s free stuff online if you want to search personality assessments, Multiple Intelligences or Career Exploration. You can also enlist an Employment Coach or Counsellor, drop into a College or University Guidance office and get help with your career direction. If your issue is figuring out what to actually do in life, how are you going to do it going about it the way you’ve been going about it? Right! Time for a change in strategy.

Your cover letter when applying for work is a great place to explain the gap in your résumé. When you do get interviews, you already know that they must be understanding of your gap or you wouldn’t be invited in for the interview. This can increase your confidence in addressing what otherwise would be a frustrating and embarrassing question to answer.

Lots of options to consider and with 2019 days away, now is the time to act.

Thinking Of A Return To School?


So the job search has become a long, frustrating experience of being rejected over and over. You’re over-qualified for some jobs, told you’re not who they are looking for others, and then there’s the ones where they say you were great but they decided to go with someone else. In the end, it’s all the same – no job. So now you’re so frustrated with the entire job search process, you’re thinking of going back to school instead.

A return to school would give you current academic credentials; a big upgrade on your mid-1980’s degree or diploma. Surely some current education and your life experience would be a winning combination! Well the short answer is yes. However, it’s important to consider a number of factors when you’re weighing the option of upgrading your education.

First of all, are you going back to upgrade your education in the field you’ve worked in all along or are you venturing into another field altogether? If it’s something new to you, think now – before you pay any tuition, if and how what you’ve done in the past can in any way be leveraged to help strengthen your job interviews after you graduate. So if you graduate with a Police Foundations Degree, how will your 15 years of Engineering work help? Will you be able to draw on transferable skills or will you have a different kind of answer when they ask why you’re taking this U-turn after looking at your work history?

There’s nothing wrong with changing direction in your life. It is a wise and courageous person indeed who isn’t afraid to stop pursuing work they can no longer do or be hired to do, and venture out in some new occupation. It can be invigorating and liberating to learn a new profession and it can fuel you with energy and enthusiasm if you’ve felt stuck in a rut. Pity the poor person who has come to no longer find joy in their line of work but who pursues it because it’s all they know and they feel they can’t risk going back to school and taking on more debt.

Ah yes debt. That’s one way to look at things of course; going back to school and graduating with a degree, diploma or certificate that costs you tens of thousands of dollars. You might be reasoning that while your out of a job now, at least you don’t have the added burden of all that debt on top.

There’s another way of looking at the money part however, and I always encourage people to see any costs associated with returning to school as an investment. An investment in what though? The answer is yourself. And what can you invest in that is of greater importance and benefit than yourself? Whatever you learn in school, you’ll take with you for the rest of your life. Oh sure you won’t recall some specifics, but you’ll emerge changed and better educated. School changes how you view things, and if you’re like many, you’ll use what you learn in school daily. It’s not so much that you apply a formula to a problem, remember some passage in a book or quote some theory. It’s more about how you think with a broader perspective and interact with the world in a different way when you graduate.

Now if you’re going back to learn a trade, I applaud you. People who have experience and recent education in the trades are not only in short supply, you’ll pick up skills you can use not only in your professional life, but your personal one as well perhaps. When you don’t have to call an electrician or auto mechanic for minor repairs, you’ll save money and feel empowered too.

School isn’t for everyone granted. What is? This doesn’t mean however that because you heard from a friend that it didn’t work for them that it won’t work for you. It can be a welcomed change to a frustrating job search to be connected with other people in a classroom who are interested in what is being taught just like you. You’re also likely to find that it isn’t as bad as you first imagined either. You wake up and you’ve got somewhere to be, at a certain time, and it’s motivating you to get into a good routine. You’re likely to apply your earlier work and life experience in the classroom too, and your marks might just be higher than you ever thought possible.

When you do finish school, you’ll emerge with something new and something current to stick on that résumé of yours. You’ll feel confidence like you haven’t in some time too because your education was rather dated prior to school. Now if you did your homework before you even started by asking some questions, you picked a course of education that has an upswing in employment. There are jobs out there and you’ll feel optimistic about your chances.

Oh and should you be deciding to upgrade your current education in your field, how can that do anything but help you? Now you’ve got extensive experience and learning of best practices, latest trends and you’ve got credentials once more.  Remember, education is never a bad thing, and the investment you choose to make in yourself will stay with you, unlike a purchase you make in a car that loses its value the second you drive off the lot.

Picking A Career: The Pressure To Get It Right


It usually starts when we’re children and asked of us by well-meaning family members. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Then our parents friends and the parents of our own friends are asking us the same question. Soon, the idea that we should place a lot of importance on thinking about our life-long career is reinforced in school when elementary teachers tell us to choose wisely the level of classes we select as we approach high school. Maybe they even have us do career assessments.

In your personal life you’re body is going through some weird physical changes; puberty. Your hormones are changing, you get that first facial hair, the period arrives, the physical attraction to people you used to just see as friends is changing how you hang out together. What you and your friends think is groovy, hip, cool or down with is constantly changing and you don’t want to be left out and fall behind. Things get awkward as you switch back and forth between being a kid and doing your best to look and act 5 years older.

So there you are newly arrived in high school; experimenting with your teenage drive to test some boundaries, making some decisions (a few of which you’ll regret and a few you’ll be happy work out) for the first time. You think you’re mature, all you really want to do is have fun, bond with your besties and have the time of your life, but suddenly you’re doing serious work looking at further career assessments, picking out Universities or Colleges to further your education and positioning yourself along the path to that career goal. People older than you, smarter than you, are laying out your next 5- 8 years of your life; finishing high school and 3 or 4 years of further education.

The irony is that as adults themselves, those teachers know that almost every one of their students will change their careers and some several times over the course of their working adults lives. But if they stressed that message at this early juncture, the students they are instructing would question the importance of getting it laid out now. So there you are unsure really of what you’ll want in the future let alone now, but still you’ve got to start thinking about what College or University offers the courses you’ll need to get whatever diploma or degree you’re after.

There’s a lot of heat to get it right; some of the pressure – most of it really – might even be self-imposed. After all, if all these people we admire and respect are telling us it’s important to choose wisely so we don’t waste our lives, our money and our time, they must be right. The fear that you choose wrong and take  something you really don’t want or change your mind too late can be confusing!

Relax! (Easier said than done right? I know). Here’s a few thoughts for you to mull over from an Employment Counsellor who has worked for a long time with literally thousands of people.

First of all, while this might sound entirely UNhelpful, you need to know that as much as what you want now may seem crystal clear, that could very well change in your future and that’s totally okay. The person you’ll become will be influenced a great deal by people you have yet to meet, places you have yet to go, experiences you have yet to have. You’re going to change as you grow and so this notion of choosing an occupation – and the pressure to get it right – is not only a myth, it’s just plain wrong and the evidence proves it. People change jobs and careers over their lifetime.

This being said, an education is a fine thing. It’s not the only thing; you can skip the post secondary thing altogether and just start working and have a fine, fulfilling life. But suppose for a moment you head off to school and after 2 years in a 3 year program you find you’re just not feeling it. You can switch programs and people do. You can take a year off and go back. You could even graduate and then something in your life makes pursuing that career difficult or seemingly impossible. That career in the Hospitality industry with a lot of evening and weekend work suddenly doesn’t fit with your new-found role of parent. If this happened, would your education be a waste?

The answer is no. Education is never a waste. Education is not a financial burden of debt you pay off with a good paying job, but rather an investment in yourself as a person. That education is going to change and influence how you think moving forward, and it will benefit you throughout your adult life. If you consider returning to school to do something different, taking another 2 or 3 years, you might feel even more pressure to ‘get it right this time.’ My advice? Do it anyhow. Go back. Invest in yourself because your future self will thank you.

You can do this. You literally can’t choose wrong. Life has a funny way of making use of our talents, education and experience down the road in ways we can’t imagine at the present.

Whether a specific trade or a general Bachelor of Arts, it’s all good! This education you’re considering isn’t the final destination, it’s just one step on a lifelong journey.

Experience Alone Won’t Get The Job


Are you looking for work and counting on your extensive experience to tip the scales in your favour over other applicants who have formal education but less experience? Do you think it’s unfair that you’re being rejected time and time again because you haven’t got a Certificate, Diploma or Degree? There are good reasons behind those decisions organizations are making to go with other candidates and best you should not only understand them but accept them. Better still though is turn your frustration, resentment or bitterness into action and go get the training to complement your experience.

How long has it been anyhow? You know, since you’ve been applying unsuccessfully for jobs and getting passed over because you don’t have the required academic requirements. What’s kept you from heading back to a classroom and coming out the other end with that document? Pride? Financial investment? Fear? Stubbornness? A lack of appreciation for the training or the process? Whatever the reason, it says much about your attitude and apparently you’re spinning your wheels and going nowhere without it. How does it possibly make sense to keep trying to get a job you really want when you don’t meet the key educational requirement and are doing nothing to change the situation?

If experience alone was enough to qualify people to excel in their professions of choice then consider this: every Addictions Counsellor would be a former addict, all Divorce Lawyers would have failed marriages, every person Prison Guard would be a former inmate. Does this seem logical or even preferable? Certainly not to me.

Experience is a tremendous asset and I acknowledge that unreservedly. However experience alone I’m happy to say doesn’t qualify you and that’s a good thing. Many people with experience are poor communicators for example, and so just because they’ve  got extensive first-hand experience, (such as a victim of abuse), there’s no guarantee that’s going to translate into making them a brilliant personal Counsellor or Speaker.

In fact, in many cases a person having experienced trauma first-hand is a poor choice as an employee. Without any training in place, they themselves could be incapacitated and unable to help others if in the course of their work they find working with other victims triggers their own memories. They could also think it helpful to share their own stories instead of validating the individual experience of the person there for the help who wants and needs to be heard telling their own.

Oh yes, there’s tremendous value in getting back into a classroom and learning techniques, theories, best practices, communication styles, giving value to differing perspectives and emerging with an altered and improved appreciation for higher learning. I can think of quite a few people over the years I’ve personally known who adamantly refused to see any real value in returning to a classroom until they actually did. Those same people only later admitted that they were glad they did because once there, they understood what I and others had been saying. In short, they came to value the EXPERIENCE of formal education in their field. How’s that for irony?

Still there are many who place their own experience high and above anything they could ever learn by graduating with a Certificate, Diploma or Degree. They don’t have a full appreciation for time spent there; certainly not at any rate when weighed against life experience. Here’s something though; your experience as real and valid as it is, without education could cost a company a lot of money, their reputation and possibly destroy them utterly.

Suppose for example a childcare centre hired all their front-line providers who had babysitting experience alone; no Early Childhood Education Diploma’s, no membership in organizations that ensure standardized practices and adherence to legislation and pertinent acts. Now let’s further suppose that this centre was YOUR centre, where YOUR child attends and something tragic goes wrong because their extensive babysitting experience didn’t prepare them. Are you likely to sue the organization for hiring incompetent staff? Are you going to hold the Board responsible as well as the Director who hired that employee? You sure are. Yes, you’re suddenly going to want to ensure that every employee there has both experience AND formal training with something as precious as the care for your child in the discussion.

Same thing goes with the people who build the houses or apartments and condo’s we live in. We hope and trust that not only do they have experience but, we also trust they’ve been taught a thing or two, that they have safety certificates, that the tradespeople have their tickets qualifying them to do the work. We don’t want to find out later on that the Gas Fitter has zero education but has been, ‘doing it’ for years.  Oh well then, that’s okay then when you come home to find an explosion has leveled your abode because they didn’t do the work properly.

Look, if you have extensive experience I think that should be recognized, and it is by employers. However, you’d be well-advised to admit – even if grudgingly – that there is also value in formal education. One isn’t better than the other but together they improve your chances of being a successful job applicant. You will gain an understanding and appreciation for your field of choice and most importantly learn more than you’d expect.

Education; something perhaps to reconsider.

 

 

Computer Time Is Only 1 Part


Looking for a job again today? How are you going about it? With basic computer skills being in such demand in order to even apply for positions, too many are spending way too much time on their computers; neglecting to give time and energy to other activities. So in order to inform or remind you what a well-rounded and multi-pronged approach is to an effective job search, let’s look at some of the things you should be paying attention to.

Self-assessment. Know you’re strength and weaknesses, your preferred style of leadership and supervision. Understand how you learn best be it receiving instructions, observation or doing. Be able to articulate your problem-solving approach, your preference for working independently or with others and know what your work values entail. Do not overlook this critical step or you will find yourself in jobs that lack fulfillment; you’ll be far happier in an environment that fits your personal preferences.

References. Getting the names of a few people who can attest to your good work is only a small part of the attention you should be giving to your references. You’d do well to make sure each of these people receives a copy of your updated resume; that they understand clearly the kind of positions you are pursuing and the skills and experience which qualify you. You should make a point of thanking them regularly, bringing to their attention employers who are likely to call them and when doing so providing a brief description of those organizations and the specifics of what the job would entail. They’ll represent you far better this way.

Marketing. Consider yourself as a product which you as a Salesperson would pitch to a potential buyer. You have to be able to get past this notion that you are bragging when you are in fact really just accentuating your real value. Know your features and the benefits of your features. Don’t just say you have 6 year’s experience; extol the benefits of that experience! How will adding yourself to the company benefit them?

Attitude. The most qualified candidate is often passed over because of this one intangible. “Your qualifications were impressive by far, but we just went with someone we feel will be a better fit.” If you hear something like this, it could be that while your experience and skills were exactly what they want, your overall attitude left them questioning your attitude and your ability to mesh with others. So be honest with yourself or get others honest opinions; how are you coming across?

Interview Skills. Ah the big one. Spend all the time on the computer you want but eventually you’re going to have to ditch it and sit down face-to-face with someone or some people and converse. Way too many people admit they have weak interview skills and do absolutely nothing to improve on them, citing their dislike of interviewing as the reason! The only way to improve is with practice, listening to objective feedback and then acting on that feedback.

Health. Job searching requires mental and physical stamina. Do not ignore the importance of eating properly, getting some moderate exercise, finding some laughter in your day, setting aside some time to do other things you find pleasure in. Stressed? That’s not surprising or abnormal. But left without some intervention, stress can grow and dominate your days and nights. Pay attention to your health. Alcohol and drugs don’t remove problems; they only mask them and compound them.

Phoning. The phone is just one more tool in your job search strategy. For some reason many young people in particular are excellent when texting or messaging but dread making personal calls at all costs. Too bad buttercup. Ignore the phone and you give an advantage away to your competition who don’t like it anymore than you do but who nonetheless pick it up and make some phone calls. Ironically, when all your documents are spread before you during a call, you have an incredible advantage in being able to have everything nearby that will bolster your ability to speak intelligently about yourself.

Walk The Beat. While many applications have to be submitted online, there is a huge advantage in walking into an employer’s space, observing staff interactions, introducing yourself to anyone assigned to greet visitors or customers, and taking in the atmosphere of the place. You might even do such a good job making that first impression that your forthcoming application gets anticipated and pulled for an interview based on that connection and initiative you showed by walking in.

Upgrade Yourself. Very important point here. While you are unemployed, what are you doing to keep yourself competitively educated in your field? Take a night school class or some online learning. Volunteer your services one day a week, proactively initiate contact with those in the field (networking) and find out what’s trending. Don’t let things slip by ignoring your own personal development. It may not seem overly important at the time, but you’ll pay dearly for failing to invest in yourself.

Those with limited computer expertise will no doubt rejoice that here is an Employment Counsellor who thinks like them. Well, that’s not entirely true either. If you lack moderate keyboarding speed and accuracy you should practice. Know how to navigate the internet, complete online applications and target your own resume.

Whatever you find hard to do job search-wise, yeah that’s probably exactly what you need to do more of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflecting On Choices


Looking back on your work history, are you surprised in any way with the jobs you’ve held and the direction your choices have taken you in? Or conversely, if your 20-year-old self could look into the future and see the work you would be doing throughout your life, would that glimpse hold a promise of all the things you expect?

Of the two, we can only look back with 100% certainty at what we’ve done. The best we can do when it comes to our future is to make some decisions that we hope in the here and now will prove to be ones that make us happy in the years ahead. Only the passing of time confirms we’ve made choices and decisions that we regret or we come to appreciate.

At some point in your own life, you may pause and take stock of what you’ve done and evaluate if the direction you are moving in is still one you’re happy with. To be more accurate, you will probably have many of these times; some of them lasting longer than others. A moment such as this could come 2 years into a university course that you come to realize isn’t for you and so you drop pursuing that degree and change your major. It could also come after years in a job when the thrill is gone and you wake up one day wanting a different work life.

Pausing to reflect on your own direction in life and how happy or not you are with it is a healthy practice. Having said that, there are some who feel very unhealthy and become emotionally conflicted with what they see as second guessing themselves. Envision the person who has someone else paying for their education and suddenly realizes they don’t really want to continue chasing that diploma or degree. Complicating a decision to change the education path is the sharing of their thinking with the person or people paying for tuition. “What will my parents think? How do I tell them? Will they think I’ve wasted their money?” These are some of the questions that one might ask themselves.

The alternative however is to go on giving the appearance to those around you that you are happy working towards your diploma or degree, or happiest in your line of work when you’re not. Questions such as, “So how is work or school going? Enjoying it?” seem harder to answer truthfully for some people who are wondering the exact same questions and weighing their options.

Uncertainty can be paralyzing. Should I continue doing what I’m doing? Is this just a phase everybody works through? Should I be paying attention to the signs and what exactly are all these feelings trying to tell me? Something must be wrong? What’s wrong with me?

Maybe nothing is wrong with you. These feelings are really just self-reflections; taking stock of what you have, what you’re working towards and evaluating your personal happiness with things. The apparent conflict comes not when we continue to move in the direction we were headed but only when that direction is debatable or deemed to be not aligned with where we now want to head.

So what does it take to change direction; do something different? Courage for sure, conviction would be nice and a willingness to take that first big step whatever that means to you. For some it means saying, “I’m not happy in my work anymore” to their partner. For others it could come out as saying, “I’ve made an appointment with the school Guidance Counsellor to talk.” For you personally, it could mean any number of other things said to whomever you’re speaking with.

Here’s the thing. It is often better to pay attention here and now to how your feeling than it is to ignore those feelings and continue down a path you no longer know is right out of some perceived duty to do the right thing. Thinking, “But this is what’s expected of me”, instead of doing what is right for you could take years to undo and might even close doors that are open to you at this moment in time.

Now be assured that many very happy people who are extremely satisfied with their careers did think at one point, “Am I cut out to be a ________. Did I make the right choice?” They might even share at some celebration of their work such a statement as, “There was a time I questioned whether I was in the right line of work or not. I’m glad I stuck with it.” So just because you come to question your current direction don’t take that self-reflection as a positive sign that change is needed.

It’s all very confusing isn’t it? The thing is that you and I, our needs change because we change. We change in response to our age, our environment, our awareness of other occupations, our financial needs, our willingness to jump and take a chance or our conservative nature.

There are no absolute blue prints that come with life and it isn’t neat and ordered and laid out for us at birth. We – you and me – we’ve got to find our way in this world, make our choices and hopefully they work out. However, embrace those moments when something stirs within and give them the benefit of your attention.

 

Embrace Moments Of Learning


I’d hope that you agree with me that a school classroom is only one environment in which learning takes place. Isn’t it true that we can learn from looking around us on a bus, sitting in a theatre or on a park bench and just about any other setting in which you find yourself.

And I also assert that learning isn’t limited to those who make up the audience in any formal teaching situation; for those who stand in front and impart knowledge themselves learn a great deal. When we learn, we grow; when we stop learning, we stagnate.

It’s indeed fortunate that our brains are capable of taking in, processing and retaining vast amounts of information. Everything we accumulate helps us to perform better in future situations, avoid what we experience as negative experiences and to increase what we perceive as positive moments. We tend to remember and then be guided by our past actions and if we wish, we can make adjustments to our behaviour based on how well or poorly things have gone before.

The classroom we were in as children and then later as teenagers tend to impart knowledge in a standard method requiring us to sit and receive information, then have our ability to internalize and use that information in the form of tests. These tests check our abilities to internalize, remember and apply that learning when called upon. For some however, this environment and the way in which the information is presented to them is less than effective in imparting that knowledge.

Not everyone learns the same volume of information, but more importantly, not everyone grasps information in the same way. There are those who learn by reading best, for some it’s listening while for others still it’s having opportunities to be shown and then try things themselves.

Teachers in classrooms of 25 – 30 children for example are in trying positions. They have to impart a large amount of educational information that is dictated by the Boards of Education for whom they work, and they have to do so within fixed timetables. The bigger issue however is that among all those children, there are bound to be a mixture of children who learn best in different ways. Auditory, visual and experiential learners make up just about any audience.

It’s for this reason that many of the best facilitators, lecturers and teachers use a variety of learning methods to reach most if not all of the people in the group. Hence you’ll find video’s, Prezi’s and PowerPoint presentations, role-playing, reading, music, reading, individual and group work in most formal learning environments.

But what of you? Do you know how you learn best? Are you aware of the exact opposite; what is for you the least effective way for you to receive, process and retain information? Knowing what works and doesn’t work for you personally is extremely useful well beyond the classroom and into work environments.

For example, you can minimize your learning curve and acquire information faster, making you more productive to an employer in the process if you relay to your supervisor the method you have found that works best for you when it comes to learning. Telling your boss that you learn best when you’re shown first how to do something and then be given a chance to do it yourself under guidance before being left alone to do it may help you in the workplace. This could contrast with how the boss has typically instructed employees in the past when he or she has just told them what to do and expected them to do it.

Good instructors – great instructors – know this to be true and will check with those they are mentoring or teaching and make adjustments to their teaching methods in order to best respond to their audience. On the job it can be problematic if those teaching and instructing fail to understand this. Can you recall a situation in your past for example where the boss told 10 people the same instructions but only 8 of the 10 employees received the message the way the boss intended it? The other 2 may have heard the exact information but not been able to do the work as told not because they are less intelligent but simply because they don’t process the information received in the same way; they learn differently.

The easy thing for us to do sometimes is put the blame on those who don’t perform as we expect and reprimand them or question their intelligence or ability to follow directions. Most often it’s not that the people are rebellious, incapable of performing as they are expected to, or just belligerent; they just didn’t receive the information the way it was intended because they learn differently.

Knowing your own learning preferences can be something you choose to share in a job interview too. Any question about a time you make a mistake could be an opportunity for you to demonstrate how you corrected a problem by requesting your training be presented in the way you learn best. This information could help the new employer understand how best to train you and show them that you know yourself well.

If you are currently working, this may also help you reassess how your personal learning style fits or doesn’t with how training is presented in your workplace; and small adjustments could make a huge impact in training sessions and those teachable moments.