Career Development

How Learning Styles Affect Your Career

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Your learning style can play an important part in your career success by helping you understand the most efficient ways to work. Knowing your unique learning style is important in your career because it can help you complete training quicker and work more effectively. In this article, you can explore the common styles of learning and understand how to use your own learning style to improve your career.

What are learning styles?

Learning styles are different ways to learn, process, comprehend and retain information. When you recognize your learning style, you might have an easier time performing your job. The four types of learning styles are intuitive learning, tactile learning, visual learning and auditory learning. For example, you might be a tactile learner if you work best by watching someone complete a task and then trying it yourself. Or you might be an auditory learner if you need to listen to instructions before being able to repeat the process. 

Types of learning styles

Here are the four most common learning styles that you can help you improve your work:

  • Intuitive learners
  • Tactile learners
  • Visual learners
  • Auditory learners

Intuitive learners

Intuitive learners concentrate on theories, abstract information, possibilities and ideas and use their instincts to connect what they learn. If you’re an intuitive learner, you may ask for proof when questioning an idea before you agree with it, probably understand new concepts quickly, avoid repetition, enjoy routine calculation and memorization and find connections or interpretations to relate the facts. 

There are a variety of ideal jobs for this learning style, such as in forensics, a field that uses evidence and analytics to make conclusions. Private investigation and criminal psychology are excellent choices for an intuitive learner, as they might excel at looking for missing people and analyzing suspects’ characteristics. Marketing is another option for intuitive learning, since you would make decisions by looking at emerging factors like product demand and consumer interest.

Tactile learners

Tactile learners adapt new skills better by physically practicing them rather than reading about them. This process could help you learn quickly so you will not need assistance in the future. If you’re a tactile learner, you likely enjoy participating in each process completely to best retain information. You might request a supervisor to watch and give you feedback while you recreate a process at work. 

As a tactile learner, you may prefer to use gestures when speaking, take multiple breaks during the workday to move and experiment instead of planning. Ideal jobs for this type of learning style include sports medicine, where you would work with athletes to devise solutions to injuries. You might also enjoy being a personal trainer, a role that would require you to suggest changes in a client’s eating and exercise routines in order to produce visible physical results

Visual learners

Visual learners often connect specific ideas, subjects and tasks with images. If you’re this type of learner, you may enjoy using diagrams, whiteboards, handouts, maps or charts to understand information. You might learn more effectively by sitting at the front of a classroom or boardroom to see the presentation clearly and prefer to write detailed notes instead of talking in a discussion. 

Ideal jobs for visual learners include working in finance, since the industry uses many charts and graphs to compile information from reports. Interior design is another great career for visual learners, since this field involves pattern recognition, color planning, alternation and gradation. As a visual learner, you may also excel at graphic design where you’ll practice color theory and grouping objects.

Auditory learners

Auditory learners retain information best by listening to speech and other sounds. As an auditory learner, you might ask questions to confirm understanding, record yourself speaking to listen to later, use text-to-speech software to take notes or discuss work topics thoroughly before coming to a conclusion. You may also like to repeat instructions out loud to comprehend them better. When studying for an exam or learning new material, you might prefer guides in an audio format.

There are a variety of careers available for auditory learners, such as life coaching, where auditory processing and delivery are important. Sales could be another appealing career for you, since you would assess, recognize and overcome objections when selling a product. Mediation is another industry where you could excel, as you would uncover information and resolve disputes by listening to two or more parties. 

How to improve your learning style

These steps can help you use your learning style to improve your work:

1. First, identify your learning style

You can find free learning style tests online to explore how you learn best. The tests will describe a variety of scenarios and ask what method you prefer to learn the information. Based on your answers, the test will total your results and determine your learning style. 

2. Then, communicate with your coworkers

Once you understand your learning style, consider sharing this information with your coworkers. You could let them know that you learn best when you listen, so you would like to record meetings to playback for yourself later. If you are a visual learner, you can ask your coworkers if they mind if you draw on the whiteboard during your discussion to better understand the concepts.

3. Lastly, practice your style

Practicing how you learn best allows you to continue to improve the way you learn. For example, if you are an auditory learner, you could listen to a recorded business meeting and write the key points down later from memory. This kind of practice could make you more efficient and productive in your job.