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Drive Your Career Through Digital Learning

October 23 |

When looking to take your next career step, we all consider what’s on our list of “must-have” versus “nice-to-haves” for employers. Perhaps they need to have a competitive 401k match program, but it would be nice to have coffee and snacks in the office. (Spoiler: AlphaSights has both.)

One factor that’s often missing from this list is a company’s willingness to invest in your development. Ask yourself: “What training programs do they provide? What skills are you building and how do they help you achieve your professional goals? Are you set up for success, both within the company and in the future?” Given the long-term shift to remote working, it’s now more vital than ever to have access to an engaging, online learning environment to continue growing and developing new skills.

Owning Your Development

At AlphaSights, we invest massively in your development, coupling a high-performance culture with a high-support environment. AlphaCurriculum, our blended classroom-style, and digital learning program help employees gain the skills they need to be successful in their roles. The focus for each stage of AlphaCurriculum is based on the job responsibilities and common obstacles employees tend to face at that tenure. In 2019, to elevate our digital learning presence, we signed onto 360Learning, a learning management system (LMS) that helps us create, deliver, and catalog e-learning courses to our people. 

AlphaCurriculum training in progress! 

Since then, we’ve built out a digital library of 400 courses, which, when combined with our classroom-style training, has given employees hundreds of learning and development resources they can access at all times. Investing in our people’s development is central to AlphaSights’ talent philosophy, and we’ve ramped up access to high-quality training in the shift to remote work. 

Why is digital learning vital in today’s day and age? It enables you, the learner, to upskill yourself on your own time, come onto the desk as an expert, and feel ready to engage in live activities with your peers. Today, learners have more autonomy over their development than ever. It’s on you to control your personal growth and drive skill development. We believe in self-directed learning, meaning you possess the self-awareness to identify your own learning needs, set goals, determine learning strategies, and evaluate your performance with minimal guidance. Here are three ways that digital learning puts you in control of your future:

1. A digitally-enabled onboarding program sets you up for success.

When you start a job, getting to know your new company is essential. You can only learn so much from the interview process, so in the first few weeks, you get a sense of the skills you’ll need to get started. Each new employee at AlphaSights is enrolled in 65 hours of blended onboarding over their first two weeks to get them up to speed. We asked one of our July 2020 new joiners what she thought about her onboarding experience and how LMS played a role:

“Utilizing LMS during the onboarding process was essential to my success at AlphaSights. Having the flexibility of navigating the courses on my own made it that much easier to become acquainted with the materials. The platform had engaging materials and an easy to use interface that reduced my stress during training. The forum also made it easy for me to ask questions and learn more efficiently and effectively. I’m excited to keep using this platform in the future!” — Olivia Loome, Associate

As Olivia mentioned, training resources on LMS are available long after onboarding. We leverage LMS throughout AlphaCurriculum, which provides learning and development support over your entire tenure at AlphaSights. Plus, our employees have access to a variety of on-demand courses at all times, with topics ranging from skills to implement in your day-to-day activities, such as Principles of Negotiation and Tech Productivity, to courses that help you grow professionally, like Storytelling for your Career, Self-Accountability, and Radically Candid Feedback. These are just a few of the hundreds of courses available to you.

2. Analytics helps you understand your progress.

When starting a new job, everyone thinks: “So…how am I doing? Am I doing this right? Even if I think I’m doing a good job, does my manager think so?” We all want to know whether we’re meeting or exceeding expectations.

Feedback is an important and prominent aspect of our culture, so employees at AlphaSights rarely have to ask these questions. We’re proactive about feedback because we truly believe that it’s a gift. Receiving performance feedback early on helps you gain the insight you need to make smart investments in your development. You’ll work on the high-impact areas of growth rather than blindly searching for learning opportunities that may or may not be important for you at that time.

But what if you want to seek out insights about your progress yourself? In LMS, you have access to a personal dashboard that summarizes the courses you’ve taken, your average scores, skills you’ve developed, and much more. With this information, you can run your analysis on areas for improvement and seek opportunities to build those skills accordingly.

3. You control the pace of your digital learning.

We recognize that everyone learns at their own pace. Certain skills come easier to some than others, and when coming into a new job, we each bring different backgrounds and experiences to the table. Digital learning takes that into account by providing the autonomy to learn how and when you’d like. When you’re familiar with a topic or skill, you control how quickly you move through the content. On the other hand, when you’re learning something for the first time, you have the option to slow down and ensure you can absorb the content point by point.

In either case, the goal is to reach a full understanding of the topic— and who better to dictate the pace than the learner? While there is required training for all employees, individual motivation to invest in your development is what will set you apart in your career.

Engage With Our Learning Culture

On the Professional Development team, we often get the question “How much training is there?” The truth is that learning is such a core component of our culture at AlphaSights that it feels like a continuous learning journey. Our people constantly develop new skills through AlphaCurriculum, whether by attending classroom-style training, engaging with content on LMS, mentorship, lunch and learns, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, and team workshops. Digital learning is the newest addition to our culture and has drastically changed the level of autonomy each employee has over their development. Remember: you have something to gain from each development opportunity, and if you take the time to engage, you’ll create substantial value in the long term. Stay in the driver’s seat to ensure you put yourself in the best possible position for your career advancement.

Valerie Chan is a senior associate on our Professional Development team, focused on digital learning. She joined AlphaSights in 2018 and leads our partnership with 360Learning