course or a lecture, or through the latest textbook. A
very large amount of your learning will take place while
doing your job.
Everything you do at work is part of a process of
learning. Even regular tasks are likely to be important
for learning because there is always something new
each time you do them. A simple task like taking
someone a hot drink may result in a lesson – for
example, you may find that the person tells you they
do not want tea, but would prefer coffee this morning.
You will have learned a valuable lesson about never
making assumptions that everything will be the same.
Learning from working is also about using the huge
amount of skills and experience that your colleagues
and supervisor have. Not only does this mean they will
be able to pass on knowledge and advice to you, but
also you have the perfect opportunity to discuss ideas
and talk about day-to-day practice in the service you
Everyone makes mistakes – they are one way of
learning. It is important not to waste your mistakes, so
if something has gone wrong, make sure you learn from
it. Discuss problems and mistakes with your supervisor,
and work out how to do things differently next time. You
can use reflective skills in order to learn from situations
that have not worked out the way you planned. It
is important that you consider carefully why things
turned out the way they did and think about how you
will ensure that they go according to plan next time.
Unfortunately, there are real people on the receiving
end of any mistakes in social care, and learning how not
to make mistakes again is vitally important.
Talking to colleagues and supervisors is equally useful
when things work out really well, as it is important to
reflect on success as well as failure. If you reflect on
why something worked, this will make it more likely
that you can repeat it.