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The Learning Curve

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

by Staff, Spaulding Law

Most of us have experienced a difficult learning curve at some point in our life. You find a really great opportunity so you decide to jump. You leave behind everything that is comfortable and routine and step (even if only somewhat) into the unknown. It’s a great feeling until the learning curve comes and smacks you in the face. Suddenly you feel like you have no idea what you are doing. You, the person who was competent, confident and reliable now vulnerable and unsure. It’s an unnerving feeling. So, how can somebody who is hoping to take advantage of great new opportunities deal with the learning curve in a way that allows them to build the confidence they once had?

Accept that you will make mistakes. Employers know and understand that mistakes are a part of the learning process. Even those who have been with a company for years occasionally make a mistake. Understanding and accepting that occasional mistakes will happen allows you to learn and move on rather than dwelling on it and undermining your confidence.

Ask questions. This can be incredibly uncomfortable for those who have grown accustomed to operating independently. However, taking the opportunity to clarify basic definitions and terminology along with a broad understanding of the task can help you make connections much quicker than trying to figure things out on your own. Communicating a knowledge gap can also save you the embarrassment of making a mistake that might have been avoided with a little bit of clarification.

Repetition and reinforcement is key. People quickly learn things that they do repeatedly and an increase in the number of correct answers you give versus incorrect answers will boost your confidence and increase performance. This is easier in a situation where you are performing the same functions over and over again, but how does one get the benefits of this principle when their opportunities to practice something are spread out? One answer may be to take detailed notes related to each task. These notes can be reviewed regularly and you will feel more familiar with the task when the opportunity to perform it again arises.

The learning curve will always be accompanied with some level of discomfort. However, if you can learn to deal with the discomfort, just think of all of the possibilities that will open up for you. There is a whole group of people who let that discomfort stop them from trying something new. You will have a competitive edge if you can learn to productively deal with the learning curve and embrace those experiences.

This information is made available by Spaulding Law for educational purposes only and not to provide legal advice. By using this website, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and Spaulding Law, unless you have entered into a separate representation agreement. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

Driving Directions from I-15:
• Take the Pleasant Grove exit 275 from I-15
• Turn North onto Pleasant Grove Blvd
• Turn left onto W. Grove Pkwy
• Quickly turn left into the Synergy/Spaulding Law parking lot.