Learning opportunities for communicators: Informal learning

Informal learning

Sometimes the best learning we do is though experiences—whether on the job, with a great manager or colleague, at a conference or simply from a productive meeting. Often these informal learning experiences help to improve our transferable skills. Here are some informal learning suggestions and resources to get you going.

Learn from experience:

  • Join the CCO Mentoring Series to work one-on-one with an experienced communicator who will support and guide you through meeting your career objectives.

Try new things:

  • Ask your manager or director about the possibility of taking part in a micro mission—a short work assignment that is usually 1 to 3 months long—to gain new experience and learn about a different aspect of our profession.
  • Talk to your manager about attending meetings as an observer to learn the ins and outs of your department or agency or to see how decisions are made. Some departments have programs to facilitate these experiences.
  • Get involved in branch or departmental initiatives to grow your network, share your talents and learn new skills. Here are some ideas:
    • support your department’s or agency’s annual charitable campaign to gain event planning experience and meet new colleagues;
    • ask your manager to be part of the specialized team on a specific project to see how senior colleagues manage projects and work with partners; and
    • volunteer for your branch’s social committee for an opportunity to show your creativity and possibly get to know your senior management team better.

Broaden your perspective:

  • Ask your policy/program partner for a meeting to learn about their day-to-day work and the history of the program you are supporting.
  • Go for a coffee with a manager or director you admire to learn about their career path and lessons learned along the way.
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