18 HEALTHCARE CAREERS | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com ISTOCK M any talented people believe they do not have anything new to learn in their chosen field. They believe what got them there is enough. Those who are determined and who work hard often spend a lot of time and effort to learn new skills and maintain their existing ones. They display the most current knowl- edge of new technology and ideas. Having employees who will improve themselves over and above the company-sponsored training is critical to an organization that seeks to inno- vate and improve. Eleven years ago, before starting college Ben got a job working in the mail room at a local business. The company had been in existence for more than 60 years and was being led by Jack, a long-time employee and company legend who had started in the mailroom. Three weeks into the job, on his way from the basement to the top floor, the elevator stopped and who should enter the elevator but Jack. He smiled at Ben, introduced himself, and mentioned that he started out in the mail room. Ben was a little star struck, but as they both exited the elevator, Ben asked if Jack had any advice for him. Never stop educating yourself, Jack said. In fact, come into my office and let me elab- orate. I have 15 minutes before my next meeting. Jack proceeded to share these five pillars for continued education: 1. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR EDUCATION. You alone are responsible for your education. Free and for-fee learning opportunities are available to everyone. The public library and the Internet are two examples. Another invaluable source of education is people. Spend time with people who can do things that you can’t. It may mean volunteer- ing to stay late to observe someone, going to lunch with more experienced associates, or finding a mentor. You can also learn by taking on challeng- ing assignments that are above your skill level. Discuss the help you will need to be successful, and the company leadership may reward your initiative by providing an experienced staff member to oversee your on-the-job training. You can learn pretty much anything, if you work hard at it. 2. DO NOT EXPECT ENTITLEMENTS. Time in service should be no guarantee of advancement in a successful business. It is what one learns with his or her experience that determines the value of the service time. In EDUCATION SHOULD BE CONTINUOUS Five pillars to ensure you never stop learning By Walt Grassl OPTIONS IN EDUCATION  |  HEALTHCARE CAREERS 2018