The Value of Being a Learner

I’m going to get my thoughts out this very moment when I’m just a little bit heartbroken.

Of course you can say that when one is disappointed it can make them do impulsive things. Like write a blog post maybe?

Unfortunately that isn’t entirely my frame of mind right now. I’m more interested in exploring the value of being a learner in this day and age.

Truth be told, I’ve just been turned down for two (part-time) positions that I interviewed for last week, with an tree organisation that I have been yearning to work for. The fact is, I actually only applied for one position, but got a phone call inviting me to apply for the other more technical role as they “liked my application”. So despite having limited time I churned out two presentations and prepared for two separate interviews – through a really stressful week – with both interviews going well. As impressed as they were, I was told today that the positions went to others who had “more closely matched experience and skills”.

Yes, I wanted the job, but I also understand that it’s just not meant to be at this stage of my journey with trees. Though I am a bit heartbroken today, I know I’ll bounce right back up tomorrow, just like every other time. Dare I speculate that maybe I am not a 100% accomplished/experienced expert who can slip into the role like a silk glove, which was probably what the organisation needed at this stage. Even though they are committed to professional development, sometimes having someone who already knows it all would be a more direct option.

But can we ever know it all?

I must confess that although I know quite a bit about trees now – compared to when I first started – I have always been a learner and will never stop learning. Ever since I decided to specialise in trees, I’ve been hitting the books, attending webinars (Covid times), going out in the field, always questioning and comprehending (and eating lots of blueberries for good memory). However in today’s ever-changing world, should learning be viewed differently? With modern technology, we are never too far away from a smartphone and googling what we do not know. Even the most obscure information is at our fingertips, and coupled with a sense of wonder, the ability to retain information, understanding, being able to apply it in the field plus a dose of passion, would surely make us supercharged learners on the way to success?

Try balancing that with society’s expectations for you to know and have done everything there is with regards to the subject, although apparently even experts are still learning all the time!

I am very lucky to know a rare few who are dedicated in teaching me all about trees (actually actioning it), and in the process helping me to achieve my true potential. These are the people who respect the transference of knowledge and skills, the ones who honour that true spirit of sharing what they know and the belief in nurturing passionate souls. These people are true inspirations; we are not going to be on this planet forever so let’s continue to pass it on and pay it forward, which I am gladly doing so myself.

Today will continue to sting a little bit but by tomorrow, the ointment would have settled my skin.

The confidence and self-belief of having come a long way in such a short time will grow; whatever knocks you down makes you stronger.

Let the healing process begin again and until the next opportunity, I’m glad to say that the learning never stops… Even when I do eventually get a break!

4 thoughts on “The Value of Being a Learner

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  1. I know what a dedicated and determined learner you are; it must hurt to not get the job but you impressed them so it shows you are just a whisker away from getting the job of your dreams. Think how far you’ve come in such a short time. You’ve found your passion. Keep going, keep learning, keep developing xx

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