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Think back several years and tally up the number of workshops, presentations, books, lectures, discussions, groups, etc., you've joined or participated in. They may or may not have been directly related to your field of work, but they most likely contributed to your lifelong learning. Whether it's communication skills, organizational skills, time management workshops, literary studies, reflective exercises, or even safety training of some kind, it's all valuable training. When submitting applications to universities, colleges, or even to potential employers, don't forget to give value to the informal training experiences you've encountered.
The important thing to remember about informal training (training that doesn't lead to specific credits or toward a specific designation) is that it's all very self-directed. Chances are, you're the one who decided to take these workshops, courses, or lectures. You had the drive and ambition to attend. That says a lot about your commitment to lifelong learning.
Keep track of everything you do in that regard, write a reflective piece on your learning experiences, and try to keep instructor/facilitator contact information for reference purposes. Why? You want to be able to articulate all of your learning experiences, both formal and informal, when the need arises. Doing a self-assessment of all you've done will prepare you to sell yourself, and your skills, in the future.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|