‘Learn continually – there’s always “one more thing” to learn!’ – Steve Jobs
As anyone with a few years up their sleeve knows, learning never stops – and that applies to everyone from recent school leavers to retirees. Once we stop learning, we die – or at least we stop growing.
This year Adult Learning Week takes place 1–8 September – and this gives us a great opportunity to look at all the myriad reasons why it’s never too late to learn. No matter how old we are or where we’re at in our life and career – from the young and ambitious to the comfortably complacent – we should all commit to keeping our minds fresh with lifelong learning.
Here are some of the best reasons for pursuing further education:
There’s no surer way of advancing your career than by gaining new skills so you can step up and get that promotion, or just perform better at your job. With new skills in your toolkit, you’ll enjoy more opportunities and choices – and probably more money.
Are you a great administrator but need more accounting skills to do your job better? Keen to step up to management level but need some formal training to ensure you’re up to the task? Or are you taking on more responsibilities and need some project management skills to help you juggle everything?
Upskilling leads the way to career success and advancement.
Career changers can find themselves in a difficult spot, as they lack the training and experience of those already working in their new field. If this is you, then you’ll definitely need some new skills and qualifications to convince employers to give you a chance in a completely new role and industry.
I know ex-computer programmers who have re-trained to become teachers, and photographers who have studied to become counsellors. In every case, changing careers was the best thing they ever did – but they needed to go back to study and get the qualifications in order to start their new career. And they’ve never looked back!
Returning to the workforce after a break can be hard – really hard. You might feel your skills are outdated, you might have lost some confidence along the way and you might be feeling trepidation about getting back into the fray.
For anyone returning to work after taking time out to have kids, travel, deal with illness or care for a loved one, starting a course to get back into the swing of things, re-stimulate your brain and polish up your skills is one of the best things you can do. It will not only boost your skills but, most importantly, your confidence.
Don’t be fooled, learning isn’t just about your career and being serious – it’s fun! Taking a course and getting your grey matter buzzing is one of the best things you can do if you’re feeling brain-dead or in a rut. Learning makes you a more interesting person so you can avoid that no-no of dating rules and life: don’t be boring.
So if you’ve always hankered to do a writing course, take your photography to the next level, learn to cook like a celebrity chef or find out how to give a killer massage, Nike said it best: just do it!
With online learning choices readily available, education providers are making it easier than ever for people with busy schedules to study at their convenience. Flexibility is the MO when it comes to how and when you want to study and that means continuous learning is easier than ever – so there’s really no excuse not to keep learning and growing.