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I Really Want to Learn More!
This is an open letter sent to staff at Kalos Services.
First, I want to remind you that you are in no way obligated to read company emails or do anything work-related when you aren’t working. So, if you don’t want to be bothered by this on your day or time off, then by all means, save it and get back to it during work hours.
At Kalos, we do a lot of training and developing people towards their goals. It always has been and always will be a big part of what we do.
Lately, I’ve had a lot of people stop me and say some version of:
I would really like to learn about _________ (fill in the blank).
Can I sit in on a few of your classes? It seems really interesting!
What classes or certifications can I get/take to help me advance?
When I ask what they are already learning about the subject, there usually isn’t much.
You aren’t going to like this answer, but it’s the truth.
If you haven’t already started learning something on your own, then I’m not going to be much help.
I make 2 podcasts, 2 videos, and I send out 3 to 7 tech tip emails per week about all sorts of topics related to HVAC.
There are only a few of you who pay any attention to what I already make to help train you.
It isn’t just me. There are tons of books you can read, free videos you can watch, manufacturer manuals you can reference, online forums and groups you can leverage, codebooks you can refer to, etc.
Before you start feeling defensive, let’s be clear.
Most of you work a lot, and watching videos or reading or listening to podcasts about AIR CONDITIONING, of all things, just isn’t a priority.
I get it.
But that means that you like the idea of learning or the recognition that comes along with showing an interest in learning, but do you really want to learn?
Of course, we all learn hands-on doing our jobs. We learn from our mistakes; we learn from whomever we work with. That is all a type of learning that is forced upon us and is often valuable.
That is learning by force rather than by choice, and you can do very well learning in that way.
When I started teaching classes in my 20s, I was an idealist. I thought everyone would be interested in knowing everything they could about their jobs and the world around them. I figured they would take advantage of the free education provided to them to advance in their careers.
That just isn’t how it works
Most people want to FEEL like they are interested in learning or growing, but they actually only learn or grow when their circumstances force them to.
Most people like the sound of “opportunity,” but when opportunity looks like reading a boring book or manual, then they look for a different opportunity.
So, you may be feeling a bit like, “What’s your point?!” or “This dude is a real jerk!”
People who know me best know that deep down, I am a bit of a jerk and that I also really care about seeing you all grow.
The point is this:
If you really want to learn, you will start by learning without being forced to learn. If that’s you, then I would be thrilled to help you along that journey.
Otherwise, you will still learn by circumstances, and if you are a talented, hardworking, good person, you will still have a home at Kalos whether you like learning or not.
However, there is no point in attending classes (other than ones directly related to your current role) or asking me about how you can learn more or progress. I can’t force you to learn, and a few classes will only stand to create more confusion.
If you (actually) want to learn more about the HVAC/R trade, then by all means, start down that path, and I will be thrilled to help you along the way, give you classes, send you to classes, help you find resources, etc.
But if you walk up to me or email me and say you want to learn, be prepared for me to ask you what you’ve already been learning.
A job is something you are given to do, and you do it.
A career is something you create with intention and investment in yourself.
Thank you for all of your hard work, and I truly appreciate every one of you, no matter how you learn or the job you do.