14 Jul 2019
Lifelong learning helps us understand our world, opens up more work opportunities and improves our quality of life.
Why lifelong learning is important
Automation and digital technology advances are having a big impact on jobs and the way we learn. Workers need to retrain more often to keep pace with job changes and for transferable skills.
Learning and sharing knowledge enables us to stay connected with others, breaks down barriers and builds mutual understandings. It's a great way to find our tribe - people with shared interests.
Where to begin
Have a vision of what you want to achieve. Talk to friends and colleagues about their experiences. A skills audit is a useful first step if you’re not sure where to begin.
Are you yearning to complete a qualification that you stepped away from a while ago? Or are you looking for a refresher? Micro-credentials deliver short sharp bites of knowledge in a particular field.
Dip your toes in the water with some taster courses to see what works for you and discover topics to explore further.
Different ways to learn
Advances in technology have opened up an amazing array of learning options: podcasts, video webinars, online learning, TED talks, social media learning groups and coaching.
It helps to know your preferred learning style. Do you learn best in a group setting, by trying things out or by learning alone? Do you enjoy audio recordings (podcasts) or visual images and diagrams (webinars)? Maybe you prefer reading (digital or print) and taking notes then sharing what you've learned with others.
Online learning is perfect if you prefer to learn in your own time at your own pace.
Talk to your family and friends about your study plans. Having a support network will help you stay on track. Many education establishments offer student learning support or you could try a personal coach. Adult learners often seek out classmates for peer support.
As an avid learner I've experimented with many different ways to learn and love the way we can share and expand our knowledge globally in a digitally connected world.
Diving deep into a topic interests me more than once over lightly snippets. This includes a mix of video webinars, online reading and research, shared practice (using Zoom) and individual coaching.
In my opinion you get what you pay for. The lowest cost option may not get the results you want.
Reaching our full potential
Continuous learning helps us reach our full potential - personally and professionally. Lifelong learners are interested in the world around them and have a thirst for knowledge. Through trial and error they find out what works best for them.
I'm interested to hear what works best for you.