Workforce development programs have at their core, conceptions of human beings and what they are capable of. In a series of briefs, we set forth a broadened notion of human learners as Next Level Learners that accounts for thriving in a workforce context. This first brief invites us to consider learners as agentive within and across contexts. Inspired by the quote above, it focuses on agency within the interactions between learners and their environments. It draws upon research in the learning sciences, neuroscience, and cognitive science to reposition how we think about the relevant variables and the supporting environment. In education writ large, it is common to aim for engaged, attentive learners—people who deeply learn the content that is presented to them. We agree that this is important to achieving and maintaining mobility and stability in the workforce today. However, we argue that it is not nearly enough. Like “fast fish” that create eddies and vortices to push off from to propel performance, we suggest that humans must be able to be agentive in their learning and to learn within malleable contexts that they can actively adjust to be supportive of their growth and performance. The brief presents the cognitive science behind why this aspect of Next Level Learning that we refer to as “fast fish learning”—of being agentive and leveraging contexts—presents a more powerful workforce development vision to adopt and for whether displaced workers ultimately sink or swim.