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Why You Should Be a Lifelong Learner – What to Know

Modern humans spend over 12 years in basic education to prepare them to be self-sufficient members of society. If they are lucky enough, they may receive another two to four years of formal instruction to earn a degree that can prepare them for roles in corporate settings. By the time young adults can earn their own living, they would have spent most of their lives in a learning setting. 

After spending more than 16 years studying and practicing, it makes sense that people feel that the “learning” period of their lives ends at their college graduation. However, to be truly successful and build a long-lasting professional career, learning can’t and shouldn’t end with the toss of a cap. 

When young graduates transition from school to the workforce, many of them struggle to cope with the demands of professional life. A lot of them fall short of their own expectations, thinking that getting a job is the last item on a checklist of to-do items to gain independence. The ones that struggle the most are those who realize that the education they spent so much time and effort attaining suddenly seems to contradict what they want to be as professionals. 

While education should set the foundation for a long and fruitful career, learning shouldn’t stop. Learning should be a continuous pursuit that runs parallel to all of life’s experiences. If you feel trapped in your career, that you have limited choices, or you can’t see a future for yourself in your current job, it may be because you chose to stop learning. If you want to feel empowered to carve out your own place in the world, consider the following benefits of being a lifelong learner:


  • It increases your professional value


Your college degree can get you a job, but your attitude and ability to adapt to change will determine how long you can stay in it. Learners are humble enough to accept that they don’t know everything but feel confident enough to try. When you demonstrate the willingness to learn, it makes you more difficult to replace in an organization. When you can adapt, employers see the potential to take on additional responsibilities or new roles, rather than someone who is just filling an empty seat. 


  • It boosts your productivity


College degrees can only provide you with theoretical knowledge for future job responsibilities. Once you are in an actual job setting, you will encounter problems and experiences that nothing in books will prepare you enough for. Keeping yourself open to learning opportunities means you can absorb new skills and refine your strengths that will help you to work smarter, faster, and make you a more effective member of your organization.


  • It keeps your options open


Carving out your identity and what you want to do with your adult life can take time. Some people figure out their dream careers at a young age, while others get the lightbulb moment while they are ten years into their professional life. If you suddenly want to change paths, it can be difficult to start from scratch when you have already progressed in a certain direction. However, if you exposed yourself to learning opportunities along the way and spent time developing skills other than what your current job demands, it allows you to shift gears easily. Being a lifelong learner can provide you with a cushion to start a new career should you lose your job to retrenchment or redundancy. 


  • It makes you a better leader


The path to the top of any career is not a straight ladder as many people often believe. Being a leader requires learning competencies and honing skills that you will never encounter in a classroom. It also means learning to navigate the tricky uphill slope that there is no manual for. To become an effective leader and a policymaker, you will need to take cues from other industry bigwigs, your stakeholders, or even your subordinates. When you don’t have a learner’s mindset, the door to the corner office may never open for you.  

While it sounds like a simple task, many people are too proud to accept the challenge of learning. With every real-world experience, mistake, heartbreak, or broken relationship, you learn what not to do and how to be a better person. The same logic should apply to your professional life. Never discount the benefits of learning and how it can make you a better and more valuable team member, effective manager, and future leader.

Want to know how to become a better learner? Our online courses can help you build a meaningful professional career and maximize your personal and professional opportunities. Visit our website to browse our resources and find a program that can transform your life today!



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