Grow up, do well in school, and get good grades. Finish secondary education, get an advanced degree, and then you’ll be successful. This is often the formula that we are given from the time we are children. And while there is certainly merit in putting importance on completing schools and performing well academically, learning isn’t the finite activity we’re led to believe it is.
The reality is that continuing to develop new skill sets and perspectives throughout your lifetime is imperative in order to have a long-lasting and fulfilling career.
Lifelong learning is the best way to keep your abilities as a professional fresh, dynamic, and relevant throughout your career.
What Does Lifelong Learning Mean?
The concept of lifelong learning is quite broad. It doesn’t refer to a specific course or regime, but rather gives a title to the general concept of continued education as a regular part of one’s personal and professional life.
Top management consultant, educator, and author Peter Drucker stated, “We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”
Lifelong learning can take many shapes, encompassing anything from organised online coursework to private training, or self-education through books and online materials.
One of the most important aspects of lifelong learning is that the person in question has an organic desire to continue their own self-development.
Why is Lifelong Learning Important?
There are a plethora of reasons to emphasise learning throughout your life. It builds confidence, teaches how to be flexible when solving problems, and improves your ability to connect with others.
It also provides job stability by expanding your skill set — according to a recent study by IBM, in the next three years, as many as 120 million workers in the world’s 12 largest economies may need to be retrained or reskilled as a result of AI and intelligent automation. This means that by expanding your abilities, you open yourself up to further opportunities and solidify your utility as an employee.
Effective Methods of Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learning is a marathon, not a sprint. Adopting this mindset means integrating habits into your routine which can last for years, if not decades.
Here are some of the techniques you can bring into your day-to-day life to build lifelong learning techniques for the rest of your career and beyond:
Regularly Incorporate New Experiences into Your Life
New experiences are the foundation for lifelong learning. Try a new hobby that you are unfamiliar with.
Enrol in a class for something completely unrelated to your field of expertise. Learn a new language. Take a trip to a new country to experience a different culture and way of living.
Lifelong learners continuously expose themselves to environments beyond their comfort zone; this not only gives them a wider range of skills, but also broadens their overall perspective.
EDHEC offers innovative online courses and diploma programs that will allow you to acquire new skills and expand your horizons, without taking time out from work!