We are living in an era of continuous and accelerating disruption on a macro level. Some, like the COVID-19 crisis, has caused great upheaval in the economy, while others, such as new technologies and shifting skillsets in-demand have caused much uncertainty for many of us working professionals.
However, disruption on a micro level – personal disruption – is key for us to stay relevant in today’s fast-changing work landscape, and the path t
To accelerate our growth can be described using the model known as the S-curve of learning.
Whether you’re a fresh graduate starting on your first job, a high potential slingshotting into your next promotion, or a functional specialist acquiring expertise in your field, this model of learning can enable you to yield greater results in your personal growth.
Understanding the S-curve of Learning
In every journey of picking up a new skill or venturing into a new environment, we all start at the low end of the learning curve.
Initially, it takes a while for us to get a good grasp of understanding the specific concepts and technicalities of the field.
But over time, we start to gain a basic level of competence where we come to a point that it propels our learning at an exponential rate. That’s when we gain confidence of our abilities, where we enter a hypergrowth phase in our knowledge and expertise in the field.
As we approach a level of mastery, our learning comes to a natural halt, and we start to lose excitement from the lack of growth and being challenged.
That’s where you should do what great disruptors do – catch a new wave and disrupt yourself.
How to use the S-curve of Learning?
Let's start by understanding the current state you are in on your personal growth journey. For example, you can use your current role at work or a specific skill that you are picking up.
Using the picture below, identify the point of the curve you are at from one of the five key stages:
As you identify the various stages you are at in each area of learning you are in, reflect on the following questions
A) Ground Zero:
Why is this important for your professional growth?
What are your expectations and goals?
B) Gaining competence:
What have you learnt so far?
What additional support do you need to accelerate your learning?
What opportunities are there for you to apply what you have learnt?
How feedback have you received so far from others to facilitate your learning trajectory?
D) High level of expertise:
How can you better leverage your expertise to provide more value to your team/organization?
Are there ways where you can combine this expertise with another to enhance your unique value proposition?
What’s next for you to take your growth to the next level?
When you are moving up any curve of learning, sometimes it pays to be patient before you starting seeing results, especially if you are at the low end of the curve.
Are you Playing to your Distinctive Strengths?
However, it might be a case where you are not on the “right” curve to begin with. One of the key variables that come into play in determining whether the curve is fit for you is your distinctive strengths – something you do well but others within your sphere don’t.
Playing to your distinctive strengths on any learning curve allows you to move into hypergrowth, which is the sweet spot that accelerates your learning trajectory.
What can you do to continuously Disrupt Yourself?
As you start plateauing in your current learning curves, it’s about time you consider embarking on a new one. Start thinking of new skills or opportunities you can explore to expand your capacity as an individual. It takes courage to take that leap from one curve to the next, but to stay relevant in the modern world, it’s advisable to embrace the attitude of life-long learning.
If you haven’t given much thought to what’s ahead for you in your career, here are some questions to guide you:
As humans, we are naturally drawn to discovery, self-mastery and personal growth. We tend to have this innate desire to be a better version of ourselves with each passing day. We hope this S-curve of learning model has given you that level of awareness to examine your learning trajectories and eventually use it to accelerate your career growth as you continue your journey ahead. Good luck!
Here at CareerSocius, we hope to empower individuals to find a job they love. We would love to be part of your journey.
Tag us at @careersocius on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn and share your S-curve with us ☺️