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Life Long Learning

In 2016, I paid for a project management course that lasted a week and I was awarded Practitioner Status. It was a shock to the system, being back in the classroom and doing exams. Not all learning needs to be in the classroom, as there are many ways to carry on your education with little cost. Are you a lifelong learner?

learningWhat is lifelong learning?

Lifelong learning is the broad term for education that is conducted beyond school. It’s voluntary, less structured and is self-motivated, with the aim to improve personal or professional development. I’m constantly learning new things as part of my insurance work.

How is it learned?

Lifelong learning can be taken through instruction or coaching, but the term also includes any form of self-taught learning. Even our daily interactions with our colleagues, and the knowledge and behaviours we learn both inside and outside of work. Lifelong learning is about creating and maintaining a positive attitude to learning both for personal and professional development.

Learning for Personal Development

There are many reasons why people learn for personal development, such as to increase knowledge skills or pastime. Maybe you will decide to take a degree course later in life simply because you enjoy your chosen subject and the challenges of academic study.

Learning for Professional Development

Employers seek employees who demonstrate keenness to learn and develop. Most employees can join training or mentoring opportunities that make them better at what they do. From a financial point of view, a highly skilled employee is an asset to any firm and can lead to promotion and salary increases.

Five Tips for lifelong learning:

  1. Utilise technology through a wealth of online resources or listen to podcasts, download eBooks or take a distance learning.
  2. Ask your employer as they already have training internally or will subsidise the cost of a new certification as it helps the business.
  3. Stay motivated and dedicated by offering yourself incentives to keep going, or ask a friend or family member to help you stay on track.
  4. Add some structure, so studying the same time each night, or each week and stick to it.
  5. Don’t make excuses and there’s nothing stopping you simply picking up a book and learning about a new subject.

Employers are realising that formal qualifications aren’t the only way to identify desirable staff. The knowledge gained through previous experience, as well as any skills which have been self-taught or learned along the way, could greatly benefit the business. Happy learning.

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Date: 26 March 2018 by Max Robinson