How to become a Modern Professional Learner

On 2 October 2017, I released the results of the 11th Annual Learning Tools survey in the form of the Top 200 Tools for Learning 2017 list. What has become very clear over the last 11 years is that many individuals are now using a wide selection of web-based resources, tools, and services to learn in new ways, and in doing so they have become highly independent continuous learners.

I call these individuals, Modern Professional Learners.

These Modern Professional Learners don’t just have a modern toolset for learning – i.e. they don’t just rely on educational or training tools, but they make use of a wide variety of everyday tools – they also have a new mindset about how and when learning happens for, at and through work, as well as a new learning skillset.

Modern Professionals learn for many different reasons – not just because they have to, to become competent and compliant in their organisation – but because they want to, for their own personal and professional reasons. Here are some of those reasons:

  • To acquire a new body of knowledge or a new skill
  • To solve a performance problem
  • To improve the work they currently do
  • To keep up to date with what’s happening in their industry or professional
  • To prepare for the future
  • For inspiration
  • To innovate (i.e. do or think differently)
  • For the joy of learning

For Modern Professional Learners, learning is not something that happens just in education or training, but happens in many different ways every day both at work and on the Web. Hence modern learning skills are not just about how to study or take a course online, but how to make the most of all the different experiences and opportunities they seek out and encounter.

For Modern Professional Learners, learning is not something that has to be organised for them, they mostly organise it for themselves, and recognise that it can also happen accidentally or serendipitously as a by-product of doing something else.

Modern Professional Learners understand that learning is ultimately their own responsibility, and appreciate that although their organisation will provide them with training, e-learning and other learning opportunities, it can’t possibly provide them with everything they need throughout their career. In other words, they realise it is up to them to take charge of their own self-improvement (for the now) and self-development (for the future).

So how do you become a Modern Professional Learner? This new e-book will show you how.

In this e-book you will find 100 Tasks based around  the 10 principles of Modern Professional Learning:

1 – Take responsibility for your own self-improvement, learning, and development: Tasks 1-4
2 – Spend some time reflecting on your daily work experiences: Tasks 5-7
3 – Address your own performance problems: Tasks 8-15
4 -Make the most of your manager: Tasks 16-18
5 – Learn from your team members: Tasks 19-26
6 – Build and maintain a diverse professional network: Tasks 27-50
7 – Make a point of learning something new every day: Tasks 51-69
8 – Keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry or profession: Tasks 70-85
9 – Manage your own professional development: Tasks 86-99
10 – Establish your own personal learning toolkit: Task 100

Each task should take you around 20-30 minutes to complete.  Of course, you don’t have to do them sequentially if you don’t want to, although there is a logical sequence to them, and later Tasks often refer back to previous ones.

When you have completed a Task, you can share your thoughts on it in the  Tasks section of the Support Forum. Your ideas and experiences will be useful to others, and you can learn from or be inspired by others, too. If you have any questions about the activities, then you can ask them in the Questions section of the Support Forum too.

Remember though, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to being a Modern Professional Learner, it will be up to you to find what works for you.

In the modern workplace there is no longer such a thing as a job for a life – only a life of jobs – so it’ll be up to everyone to continually update their knowledge, skills, and productivity, and become an independent modern professional learner. Are you ready for the new world of work? Are you ready to help the people in your organisation become Modern Professional Learners?

If you want to get hold of a personal copy of the e-book, then you can purchase it for £25 by clicking the Buy Now button below.


“I just purchased the book and it is an amazing resource! Even the experienced self-directed learner will find new tips and tricks and be able to help others.” Jeffrey Stolz

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Jane Hart

Jane Hart helps organisations and learning professionals modernise their approaches to workplace learning - through public workshops and bespoke consultancy. She is the Editor of the Modern Workplace Learning Magazine, and is the author of a number of books including Learning in the Modern Workplace 2017 and How to become a Modern Professional Learner. You can contact Jane at