Why you should be a life-long learner

You finish high school, go on to university, and maybe pursue graduate education – all with the plan of preparing yourself for a career.

When you are in your early 20’s, school feels like a means to an end – you have been at school for 16 years or more.

Once you have a few years in the ‘real world’ you look back and think those days weren’t so bad?

It’s hard to find time now to acquire new knowledge and skills to further your career.

Are you challenging yourself to continue learning in some way that will further your professional development?

Being a life-long learner is vital for your success, here’s why:

  • Learning can earn you more money. If you advance your professional skills, or learn new skills, you become more valuable to your organisation, your clients, and your boss. You will be more suitable for promotion or that better paying job.
  • Learning makes you more interesting. As you develop your knowledge base, skill sets, expertise and interests, you become a far more engaging, conversant and sophisticated professional.
  • Learning can make your life less stressful. Having a good understanding of the knowledge and skills required for your job means you can complete your work quicker and with less stress.
  • Learning boosts your self-esteem. When you both challenge yourself to learn something new and when you actually master new material, you will profoundly boost your self-esteem. The sense of fulfillment in the process of learning and the application of learning is exciting.
  • Learning keeps your brain strong, even as you age. Just as exercise keeps you physically fit, learning enhances mental fitness. Research reveals that learning can alter your brain anatomy, improving cognition and perception, even as we age. Use it or lose it!
  • Learning is fun and engaging. Especially when you are learning about something you are interested in. Continuing professional development and learning is easy, affordable and readily accessible.

Here are some ideas for that might kick-start your learning adventure:

  • Do a course. Investigate the skill sets or knowledge that could advance your professional practice, your career or grow your business. Then enroll in a course or begin working toward a graduate qualification. Check out the courses developed by leading international universities available for no-cost on edX.
  • Keep up with your profession. There are many journals and industry publications available to help you understand the current and emerging trends and developments. Read the news and analyse the events relevant to your interests. Thinking Highways is great for intelligent transport systems or subscribe to the TRB Transportation Research e-newsletter.
  • Read books that enlighten and motivate you. Self-help books can be an extremely valuable part of your personal development learning. Self-help books are an extremely valuable part of your personal development. Check out the self-help best sellers on Amazon.com. I also buy books from The Book Depository in the UK, they have very competitive prices and don’t charge for shipping.
  • Read book summaries. Read a summary a day. Buy the book if you find it useful. Check out Readitfor.me or Actionable Books.
  • Attend seminars or conferences. These can range from an evening seminar or workshop to an international conference. Professional associations such as AITPM or Transport Australia (EngAust) run regular seminars.

» Go learn something! It will only improve your life.

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