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Lifelong Learning: How to Acquire New Skills Throughout Your Career

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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.

lifelong learning

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!

Learn How to Question Your Viewpoints

We all grow up with our own preconceptions of how the world works. We have our own ideas of professionalism, efficiency, awareness and collaboration. By exercising the habit of questioning your perceptions, you open yourself up to discovering your own personal bias, and improving upon your ideas of the professional world. 

This can be accomplished by joining a debate club, joining in on political discourse, or attending forums where the participating parties naturally have differing opinions. 

While this can be incredibly difficult at times, opening yourself up to this type of self-awareness and reflection can truly lead you to learn many things about yourself and the world.  

Get Good at Time Management

One of the most important aspects of becoming a lifelong learner is the ability to time manage. Those who can balance their career, extra professional activities, and personally enriching hobbies must have optimum time management skills. 

Good time management also allows for better work-life balance and less stress in your overall day-to-day life. Learning how to prioritise activities, utilising strategies such as the Pomodoro technique, and taking advantage of organisational tools such as online agendas and calendars, will help you both in your professional life and in your journey towards becoming a lifelong learner. 

Read More Books

Reading is arguably one of the most important elements to self-growth and continuous learning. Books have the ability to widen your perspective, teach new things, and provide solutions to long-unsolved mental and technical blocks. 

Change out fantasy and crime novels with career adjacent or completely new informational texts. Even if you only have 15 minutes, creating a habit of taking the time to read every day is an easy and efficient way to integrate lifelong learning practices into your life. 

 

A Long-Term Path to Success

By regularly engaging in both individual and organised study, you are keeping yourself, your knowledge, and your perspective up-to-date with the current world we live in. 

Lifelong learning is a way to ensure higher self-fulfilment and success beyond your degree, and throughout your personal and professional life. 

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