6 Compelling Reasons to Pursue
See also: Personal Development
Individuals who pursue lifelong learning voluntarily seek additional education and training to support their personal and professional lives. It’s a learning method that can be achieved both inside and outside of formal education, with courses and training programmes offered by schools, universities, or corporate training.
In general, anyone can pursue further learning regardless of which stage of their lives they’re currently at. One can be a student, a new hire, a seasoned employee, or a retiree. It’s all about honing one’s natural curiosity about a field of knowledge or learning more about one’s chosen field of work. Often, someone is referred to as a lifelong learner when they constantly push themselves to enhance their skills and knowledge through new challenges and experiences.
Although being a lifelong learner is often self-initiated, it can also be encouraged. In Singapore, for example, the government is inspiring its citizens to be lifelong learners by promoting SkillsFuture funded courses, a series of recommended training programmes that are focused on emerging industries. It aims to guide Singaporeans to make the most of their time by pursuing further learning and developing competencies that will help them stay relevant in the future.
If you’re having second thoughts about pursuing lifelong learning, you need to consider its benefits. To help you learn more about what these advantages could be, here are some compelling reasons why seeking further learning is good for anyone.
1. Learning Leads to Career Advancement
The professional landscape is always evolving, and becoming a lifelong learner allows you to adapt quickly to changes. It also lets your skills and knowledge stay relevant in your chosen career. By continuously seeking new ways to learn, you’re also showing your employer that you’re willing to improve and to remain a valuable member of the organisation.
Traditionally, you can enhance your knowledge by pursuing a master’s degree or a graduate certificate that’s closely associated with your chosen profession. However, these aren’t the only routes you can explore. Alternatively, you can take non-credited academic courses or programmes that can help you become more effective in your job. If, for example, you hold a managerial position, you can consider training in becoming a better communicator and leader. While these aren’t technical skills, they can be very valuable for your role.
2. Learning Encourages Personal Development
As already mentioned, pursuing lifelong learning isn’t limited to formal education. It can also include knowledge and skills you can use in your daily life. For instance, taking a class on cooking, carpentry, or sewing allows you to develop practical skills. Whether you’re interested in building up your current skill set or picking up something new, continuing your education in these areas of interest can help you become a more well-rounded individual.
3. You Contribute to Your Community
Apart from affording you personal and professional gains, pursuing continued learning also benefits your community. When you develop specific skills, you have the opportunity to provide services to people who may need them, thus helping you to become an active contributor to your community. This means other people also gain something from your knowledge.
On a larger scale, your country or society at large also benefits from your skills and knowledge. Having Singapore citizens who are lifelong learners means the state will not run out of experts who can help in the country’s development. Instead of bringing in more foreign workers or outsourcing jobs to other jurisdictions, the country will be able to rely on its own citizens to support its most important needs. Moreover, having a workforce that is composed of lifelong learners will future-proof the economy by making it better prepared for the challenges of the years ahead.
4. Learning Benefits Your Mental Health
Developing new skills or enrolling in academic courses can help give you a renewed sense of purpose and boost your self-esteem. Even if you’re pursuing a skill that is unrelated to your profession, devoting your time and effort to improving yourself can help you see your life from a new perspective. It can also give you a sense of accomplishment just by virtue of learning something new.
On the other hand, seeking new knowledge that will help you advance professionally is important in raising your self-esteem and making you more positive about what you can bring to the table. You become more confident about your abilities, especially once you begin to apply what you’ve learned.
5. You’ll Discover New Interests and Passions
Being a lifelong learner allows you to explore your other interests. Perhaps, you have always wanted to learn a new language but weren’t able to pursue it when you were younger. Now, you can take that opportunity.
Having even a slight interest in a topic or skill is often enough for some people to rediscover that it has always been their passion. At times, it can even lead to new opportunities. For instance, taking a photography class may be just the opening you need to begin offering photography services professionally.
6. You Continue to Connect with Other People
Aside from being an educational activity, lifelong learning can also be a social one. Even if you’re only taking a class for a day or two, it gives you the chance to socialise with other people. You can even make new friends with people who have similar interests or hobbies as you. Finally, it also provides you an opportunity to open up to other people’s ideas and gain new perspectives on your own.
Pursuing lifelong learning is one way to gain supplementary knowledge and skills that can enhance your personal and professional life. As mentioned above, there are different compelling reasons why being a lifelong learner is a good idea. Moreover, anyone can be a lifelong learner, no matter their age or what purpose they’ve set out to accomplish. Whether you want to advance in your career or you simply want to discover a new interest, continuing your education outside of the formal educational system can be a very valuable experience indeed.
About the Author
Crizel M. Carbellido is a freelance writer and a teacher by profession. She spends a lot of time studying how technology drastically transforms lifestyles and communities. Outside the office, she keeps herself busy by traveling across different towns and cities and she loves to dance and sing to her favorite Rihanna songs.
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