Taking Charge of Your Development

The Ohio State University supports a culture of learning. Individuals are encouraged to seek opportunities and partner with their managers to assess development needs, set goals and create development plans. On-the-job experiences and exposure to different people and learning opportunities should be considered as a part of each plan. Growth and development efforts are most effective with ongoing dialogue and collaboration between the individual and the manager. 



We believe the best learning happens through a combination of experience, exposure and education. The acclaimed 70-20-10 framework based on years of research, shows that lessons learned by successful individuals:

  • Most development (70%) occurs through real life and on the job experiences (Experience) 
  • About 20% comes from feedback and working with and observing role models (Exposure)
  • The final 10% comes from learning - course and reading (Education) 


woman writing on chalkboard

People learn by doing.

We learn from our experience and achieve mastery through practice. We learn more from making a mistake than from getting it right the first time.

Examples from learning by doing include:

  • Project involvement and leadership 
  • Stretch assignments
  • Job shadowing
  • Experiential learning opportunities
  • Community service/volunteer opportunities
  • Delegated responsibilities as appropriate 
  • Social Experience

Embrace experiential learning. Craft a mix of challenging assignments. Provide ample opportunities to help broaden and expand skills. Managers need to let staff learn and not always feel compelled to teach or tell. People are amazingly adept at rising to a challenge and figuring things out and often those challenges are what motivates individuals to elevate their performance. 


Dr reviewing information with interns at a conference table

People learn with and through others.

Employees learn more in an environment that encourages conversation. Create a culture where people are talking to each other and learning from one another. Provide opportunities for employees to cultivate internal and external relationships. 

Examples of learning with and from others includes:

  • Feedback/coaching from manager and peers
  • Mentoring opportunities
  • Networking
  • Professional memberships
  • Access to newsletters and webinars
  • University and Community Board involvement and leadership


students sitting in large area with a wall of windows in the background

People learn through education.

In order for formal learning to truly take hold, it needs to be reinforced with reflection and application. Well-designed training and learning programs have an amplifier effect – clarifying, supporting and boosting the learning from experience and others.

Examples of formal learning include:

  • Certifications/Re-certifications
  • Credit courses at Ohio State
  • Online and traditional classes
  • Workshops and courses
  • Conference attendance
  • Educational materials (books, articles)
  • TED Talks and other videos
  • Human Resources GatewaytoLearning.osu.edu website & BuckeyeLearn
  • Freely available content at GatewaytoLearning.osu.eduLynda.comdegreedudemycoursera, and many others. 


Click on the categories below to learn more about applying each one to your own professional development. 



Mentoring is a valuable source of personal and professional development that focuses on guidance and career advice. Use these tips and tools to identify your mentoring goals and build a successful relationship.

Mentor Toolkit

Protege Toolkit 

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning

Learning from experience is an intentional process. One way for employees to learn from experience is through an experiential learning opportunity (ELO). Experiential learning opportunities are a creative way to develop and engage employees while moving projects forward. They take the learner outside their comfort zone and force them to actively engage and reflect on a particular subject. 

Development Plan

Development Plan

Employee development begins with a two way conversation between and employee and their manager. During the conversation employees should express their interest in professional development opportunities through the lens of the 70-20-10 model. Managers should help employees define what they want to learn and then together identify growth and development opportunities.