My first day of work at my first job continues to influence my perspective on workplace learning 20 years later. I was a concession stand cashier at the local movie theater during the summer. I had learned plenty of things in school, but I had never worked with the public or handled money before. As a very shy kid, I was pretty nervous. Then I met Tommy. Tommy was a supervisor who ran the onboarding program. He guided my classmates and I though a seemingly perfect blend of lecture, discussion, and hands-on practice. I was never afraid to fail, and I learned plenty of practical tricks along the way. When my first shift with guests came, I was so much more confident than on my first day thanks to Tommy's efforts.
Now, as a CLO, I always try to remember what it was like to be that kid on his first day at his first job. I didn't just need new knowledge. I needed support that could bolster my confidence and help me focus on doing my job the right way.And I didn't get that from the classroom. I picked it up from round after round of practice and the patience that I was shown when I didn't get it quite right the first time. I applied this mindset when I eventually took over training for my theater locations as a manager, and then as an L&D professional within other organizations, and now as someone who works across the professional community to help shift mindsets and evolve the way organizations support people in their work.
Thanks again, Tommy!