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How & Why Lifelong Learning Can Advance Your Career

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Whatever career you may have, there is always the opportunity to progress if you seek to keep on learning. There are ample ways in which to do so depending on your desired end game and your current goals.

Lifelong learning is defined as the pursuit of both formal and informal learning opportunities throughout life; to achieve a continuous development of skills and knowledge. The areas of learning can be channeled towards both career progression and personal fulfillment.  

According to the Pew Research Centre, one study concluded that 63% of adults had pursued professional learning in the form of a class or extra training. Of this sample, 65% reported that this learning pursuit had helped them to grow their professional network and 47% said that it had helped them to advance within their current company. 

If you are hungry to advance within your career, you’ll want to take a look at how and why lifelong learning can help you to grow. 

Why you can benefit

The world economic forum estimates that as many as 65% of children just starting school, will ultimately end up working in jobs that do not yet exist today. Even if we look back to a mere ten years ago, many jobs that are in high demand currently, from social media manager to app developer, did not yet exist. All industries will change over time be this influenced by market trends, science, technology or the creativity of the influential players in the sector. If you make a commitment to continue your process of learning; you can keep on top of key advances and changes within your field. Doing so, will better equip you for success and eliminate the risk of your career lacking progression.

Lifelong learning is not merely focused on career fulfilment, but personal fulfilment too. Learning as we grow older has long been praised for slowing down the process of cognitive aging or contributing to our overall sense of wellbeing. Learning new things can help one to achieve more confidence, increase creativity, and even promote positive social change; via awareness of prominent societal issues. 

How you can pursue it

If you wish to commit yourself to a process of lifelong learning, this can be achieved in a few different ways. A straightforward way that you can do so is via self-study. If you’re passionate about your career and wish to advance as much as possible, you’ll want to study everything that you can about your industry, from news and trends to new opportunities. You can do this via attending seminars, watching online talks or documentaries, reading books or ezines, or networking with like-minded individuals. 

Once you’ve got into this self-learning routine, you can progress further in your career by presenting your expertise and skills to a wider audience in order to promote yourself. Social media provides an excellent opportunity to do this because you can create separate accounts that you are only using for your work-life. You can then use these as a form of self-marketing and networking. If you increase your online presence within your field, you could land yourself an excellent reputation and some worthwhile connections too. 

As well as this, some professionals opt for having a blog whereby they can write about their key areas of knowledge. You can use SEO optimisation strategies in order to attempt to drive more traffic to your site. If you feel that you don’t have the time for this, it’s always possible to outsource your blog content too. 

Courses & Training 

Another key way that you can better yourself is by continuing to learn via further education. Depending on your current situation this could be anything, from choosing to pursue a training course via your current company; to taking a college degree course; or perhaps pursuing a masters program? For those who cannot commit to in-person courses, New England College provide info and options to study online masters programs. 

Choosing to continue your education can benefit you greatly because you will be able to gain a more in-depth knowledge of your chosen major or passion. In addition to this, those who gain further qualifications within their chosen fields will increase their earning potential and career mobility. If you are one who feels that they are on the wrong career path, studying further could help you to change direction and achieve a new role that you enjoy. 

Networking 

Attending networking events can be another excellent way to learn new things about your industry. You can meet people with similar goals and make some great contacts. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur for instance, you may be able to attend networking events for those interested in creating start-ups and see if you can find some valuable people who would be interested in a collaboration. 

Collaborating with others helps us to learn new things because, naturally, we all have different knowledge and skills. When we form partnerships, we can offer our knowledge to one another. Even if you are not an aspiring business owner, collaborating on ideas and projects with your co-workers is entirely worthwhile. By doing so, you can gain new knowledge that can help you to do your job better. If you’re a newbie, don’t be afraid to keep an eye on the practices of the longer-term employees to help inform your own work. If you’re established within your role, you can also strengthen your own skills via mentoring others. 

To conclude 

Regardless of where you are in your career right now, you can benefit from setting yourself some goals about what you desire and where you see yourself in the future. Do your research into your ideal role, find out in detail the steps that you will need to take to get there- and start making your way through them one by one. Forward planning will set you up better for progression and success. For the best results, lifelong learning should be pursued in both your personal and professional life. You’ll usually find that these areas are complementary to one another. 


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