There are several reasons why being a life-long learner is important for professionals.
Wikipedia defines ‘Lifelong learning’ as “the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, rather than competitiveness and employability” (Wikipedia, 2015).
Here are my top-ten reasons for pursuing life-long learning:
- The first is to stay current on new and emerging trends within your field. Not only will this help you shine in the workplace, but it may also help you to maintain an excitement and interest in your line of work.
- You will boost self-confidence by developing your skills and learning new approaches to your practice. As an instructor, this may help us stay relevant. My dentist attends training seminars regularly to stay up-to-date on new medical technology – I am thankful for this as I certainly wouldn’t want him to be out-of-practice!
- Will help you stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest in technology and communication, such as social media!
- Professional development looks great on a resume as it shows an active interest and self-motivated individual. This could put you in a more competitive position when applying for a new position or promotion.
- Enhances credibility as a subject matter expert, and may even lead to other opportunities. You may meet someone in a professional development course who could hire you for consulting or a job in the future.
- Pursuing other interests makes life interesting! Taking a course on photography, cooking, fitness, gardening, or another interest will add to your overall enjoyment of life. This will make you a happier and better-rounded individual.
- As a post-secondary instructor, it gives you street credit in the classroom as you can discuss the challenges of learning with your students and empathize with the positions they are in.
- Promotes a healthy level of child-like curiosity right in to boring, old adulthood!
- Use it, don’t lose it. Challenging the mind to think in a new or different way is a great way to exercise the mind. Being around other learners may also help you to see things from different perspectives and to expand your own thinking on an issue.
- In Canada, individuals can take advantage of the life-long learning program whereby you can use money in your RRSP to pay for education. Students are given 10 years upon completion of their program to pay this money back to their RRSP.
So, there you have it! Challenge yourself throughout your life to seek out learning opportunities whenever and wherever you can.