The Learning Project


What activity captivates you? Completely absorbs you? Compels you to do it no matter what?

For me, it’s writing. And reflecting on the first year of this blog, it’s about learning.

And I have a lot of learning to do. Don’t we all?

I started this blog to explore corporate communications – leading the function, the field and the future.

Now I find myself with the amazing opportunity of pivoting into marketing.

Of course, corporate communications and marketing have many parallels.

In communications, the focus is on the benefits of any given topic, initiative or program. Its purpose is to influence beliefs and actions. It’s about leading change and transformation. And it’s about business performance.

Those attributes also apply in marketing. Yet at the same time, I’m learning a new function, a new language and a new culture.

The usual cliches apply. Drinking from multiple firehoses. Feeling like part of Lucy’s famous chocolate scene.

There must be a better way – to identify what to learn, how to learn and how to do it fast.

Beyond that, I’m grappling anew with the big question from college – what do I want to do with the rest of my life?

It’s an eery deja vu feeling, as a parent of two teens. What will they need to know as they become adults?

At the current pace of change, an HBR blog post projected that “you have to recover one-quarter of your college education every 5 years.”

The authors gently suggested devoting 3 hours a week to learning and preparing for the future. While the math worked out to 6 hours a week, 3 seemed more realistic.

As I invest time in learning, I’ll write about it in this blog. It’s my learning project over the next year.

A blog is supposed to have a laser-like focus on a single topic. But as technology makes our lives more transparent and interconnected, I’ll address multiple learning topics.

Each month I’ll focus on an area of marketing and an area about life. That’s my approach to work/life, because they’re one in the same and not two separate spheres. One influences the other, and vice versa.

With thanks to Nina Amir, I did a mind-mapping exercise (pictured) this weekend with sticky notes on a poster board.

On this learning journey I’m also inspired by Gretchen Rubin. Her year-long happiness project was part of my last post, To Feel Good, Do Good.

And although I don’t (yet) have a detailed roadmap or a perfect plan, I’m taking to to heart the wise words in Just Start.

I’m taking a step forward and learning as I go.

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Caroline Leach

Hi, I'm Caroline Leach. I help people and organizations tell their stories. I'm a Marketing VP at AT&T, a former Communications VP at DIRECTV and an alum of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This blog, How to Build Your Career through Social Media, shows you how to build your personal brand, advance your career and embrace your future. It helps you promote your employer and your network too. Opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. I'd love to hear from you!

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