Staying Hungry for Learning

College, the number one path for preparing for a career, is nothing at all like an actual job. Besides the social acceptability of napping in public, college is about a focused period of voracious learning. Work leaves less time for learning and focuses instead on the daily grind of fulfilling your responsibilities.

Creating the space and time to continue learning can give us the space to think beyond responsibilities. For me, staying hungry, in the immortal words of Steve Jobs, requires staying informed and inspired. When I know what’s going on in the world (not necessarily in my field) I find the raw material for my own ideas. When I hear how other people overcame obstacles, I stay motivated in my own day to day. Here are my main sources of information and inspiration:

Podcasts are a great way to do double duty on a commute or while you work through menial tasks at work. I love listening to EconTalk and any number of NPR podcasts on my walk to work or while I tidy up my desk at the end of the day. EconTalk has had a great series of interviews with entrepreneurs this summer. These have valuable insights into specific fields combined with the stories of how businesses survive their darkest days to eventually thrive.

A good book is always a way to stay sharp. I’ve been reading a lot of biographies this last year, in part because hearing about the struggles of great characters from history helps inspire me through the day to day grind of life. There are many great books on any industry specifically or professional success more generally. Fiction counts, too! Reading great writing hones your own reading and writing abilities. Even bureaucratic memos can benefit from a little flair.

What are your favorite podcasts or books? How do you stay hungry?

Ngiste Abebe is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Julia Taylor

Great post, Ngiste! Have you taken the Gallup Strengths Finder assessment ( I bet one of your strengths is being a Learner (!

The way I stay hungry for learning is by having inspiring mentors who challenge me to be better every day! Check out our GovLoop Mentors Program to find a great mentor in government by visiting!