I started with my first job in a company recently, the company already had a project and i started working on it,The main hurdle in my career progress bar is that to complete the project i had to learn a few new skills due to lack of time i completed specific topics[related to the project] and i will be starting the next project in a couple of weeks, and i feel it will.

My question is ,

**1) when you are upgrading your learning curve for a project is it common to study the most required part first promising yourself that you will revisit and finish the book after the part in project is over.

What i would like to know from the fellow workspace users ,

  • 1)how did you deal with this kind of situation if you had to[no negotiations] put in 60 hrs of work in a week and you are living from paycheck to paycheck.**
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about navigating the workplace. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 6 '14 at 14:03
  • I think finding ways to work "on" your job (learn more skills/make it better) while still working "in" your job is on topic. – user8365 May 6 '14 at 18:13
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    Hey war_hero, and welcome to The Workplace! I'm a bit confused on what exactly you're asking here. Could you please try to edit your question to clarify what the problem is you're trying to solve, and what sort of solution you're looking for? Thanks in advance! – jmac May 7 '14 at 2:29
  • i think the [on hold] can be removed as this is a valid question and the answer i have chosen would provide hope to the future workspace users – war_Hero May 8 '14 at 4:14

Does one's Learning Horizon narrow after getting a job?

That certainly depends on the individual.

If you are the type of person that only learns during working hours, and then only learns the minimum of what is necessary to complete a project, then Yes - your learning will be constrained by the needs of the projects in which you participate.

If instead you are a lifelong learner, and learn on your own time in addition to on-the-job, then No - you are not bound by the constraints of your job and projects.

When you are upgrading your learning curve for a project is it common to study the most required part first promising yourself that you will revisit and finish the book after the part in project is over.

I do suspect that is common.

You need to get your project completed on time. Thus if there is learning to be done, it only makes sense to learn the project-specific needs first, in order to meet your project schedule. However, there's nothing to say you cannot continue to learn (by finishing the book, by working on your own, by talking with others, etc.)

  • The reality of the life long learner philosophy holds good only if you are not living from paycheck to paycheck. – war_Hero May 6 '14 at 12:13
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    @war_Hero - By working paycheck to paycheck, does that mean working 40hrs/week or 80? If it's only 40, there's plenty of time for study and lack of money is certainly a motivator. – user8365 May 6 '14 at 12:52
  • @JeffO 80? You'll be doing nothing when you get home on weekdays but scarfing some pasta, go to sleep, get up the next morning and go to work. And do nothing on weekends but pay off the sleep debt, do the laundry and clean up the residence :) – Vietnhi Phuvan May 6 '14 at 13:02
  • @VietnhiPhuvan - Who says this has to last forever? Maybe one of the positions will offer a promotion. At least save some money. – user8365 May 6 '14 at 18:11
  • @JeffO Sure, working 80 hours a week gives one hardly any time to spend money :) On the other hand, working 80 hours a week kind of puts a crimp on the logistics of the job search. – Vietnhi Phuvan May 6 '14 at 18:18

In my experience, learning on the job is a do or die affair :) Given the pressure of the priority and the deadline, I learn what I must know in order to get the project completed and no more. Given that I was usually the strongest techie in the place, I rarely got a chance to learn anything from anyone in the hierarchy. Often enough, I was called in to help gang up on a supertough problem and we would solve it by interacting with each other, because we would never have solved it on our own.

I have plenty of experience learning from videos but often enough, I prefer to learn from written materials - in PDF format, I don't care for the dead tree format. I actively participate in meetups but while meetups point me in the right direction, I find that I learn everything that's important on my own :) Now matter how much support I get, at the end of the day, it comes down to just the three of us - me, myself and I :)

Learning on the job has its shortcomings and limitations but I wouldn't knock it, when it's the direct reason why I keep getting to collect my paychecks :) And when I go home wiped out from 10-hour days, the de facto choice is between learning on the job or not learning at all :)


It can, but doesn't have to. As others have pointed out, your own level of motivation plays a big role; you can certainly choose to learn on your own time, or if/when it happens, downtime in between tasks. Certainly while getting up to speed for a project, your learning will be focused, but afterwards, perhaps not. As far as training your employer provides / pays for it will likely be focused on what benefits them. Hopefully this will align with your interests, but if not, you'll need to learn on your own time.

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