We all get so caught up in our businesses, working, meeting deadlines, and just getting through all the personal and professional obligations that greet us each day that we don’t take the time to learn something new. It seems to me that learning should be an ongoing process, one that never stops.
One of the best ways to learn, I’m finding, is through colleagues in the editing field. We often tend to look at people in the same field as competition, not people we should be learning from, but people we should be “beating out” for business. I think we need to get away from the competitive mentality, because we can all gain insight from one another’s knowledge and experiences.
I’m in the process of taking a great course on expanding my skills as a developmental editor, offered by colleague Barbara Sjoholm, filled with other editors. We’re all looking to hone our skills, and we’re all learning from each other. The information I’m gaining is invaluable, and will be of tremendous help to me in my dealings with clients.
I also belong to several different trade associations that frequently offer in-person meetings, conferences, webinars, and a whole host of other educational opportunities. This is in addition to the great professional and personal connections I’ve made by being a member of these groups.
If you haven’t taken the time to take a class or join a professional associations, I highly recommend it. Don’t look at it as taking away time from your work. Instead, view it as an enhancement of your skills. You won’t regret it.