Polymathic Spree

A close up of strands of fibre woven into rope

I was interested in Sukh Pabial’s post the other day. He quite neatly bemoaned the attitude of the learning community who do something learning related and then say they didn’t learn anything

I was more interested in his use of the word polymath. When I set up as an independent consultant I realised quite quickly that I couldn’t maintain the income I needed doing just the one thing, i.e. learning strategy design and delivery. The market wasn’t as sure as I’d assumed; people weren’t going to be falling over themselves to ask me to do work.

I looked at my skillset and spent time trying to anticipate what might happen post COVID and this led me to be able to work with suppliers. I decided to produce the Women Talking About Learning podcast and learnt more skills. I was asked to facilitate the Learning Skills Group/Learning Technologies webinars and this has developed my presenting skills further.

This isn’t about being a polymath – I am most certainly not. Having worked in a range of industries and roles, I am incredibly lucky to have had a little experience in many things and a lot more in a very few others. My focus is, quite simply, to not be reliant on anyone for more than 20% of my income.

I’m not there yet, but being able to know I can generate income from a range of sources reduces the risk should I lose any of those income streams.

Being able to switch between activities and roles has to be part of any L&D professional’s practice. The world has changed and we need to respond to those changes.

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