By Lauren | November 10, 2014 | 0 Comment
If there’s anyone who can speak about lifelong learning, it’s probably me. Although I’m still young and I obviously haven’t continued my learning and educational growth for my entire life, I have never stopped learning since day one.
Personally I’ve completed one advanced diploma, and two certificates, and am now looking into an undergraduate degree. I see the value in continuing to learn and fill my brain with new knowledge, and although going to school forever isn’t everyone’s ideal, there’s several ways to continue your learning.
Here are some of my tips:
Don’t stop learning when you graduate
Woohoo! You finally have graduated. After spending a huge chunk of your life in school, you’re done, and you’re free! But just because you are graduated, doesn’t mean you should just cut off education and learning all together. Upon graduation continue to expand your skill set. When you begin in your first career you’ll more than likely see what gaps you are missing in your education, or what would be helpful for you to know. Take advantage of that!
Look for ways to expand your skills
Many workplaces have a professional development budget for their employees. If not, there are several less expensive ways to learn other than university or college. For example: Parks & Rec in every city always has a series of courses and workshops at a low cost for people. Take advantage of what’s out there. Seek out conferences you can attend that are relevant to your career, or current position, and ask your boss if you can attend!
What are you missing in your education?
It’s more than likely that the program you took in school didn’t teach you every single thing you could or should know. You’ll quickly realize once you start out in the working world that there are some gaps in your education that you are missing. Some of these things can be things you learn on the job, and some can really only be backed by continued education. Whether this is in the form of an online course, workshop, or full blown university certificate. Filling these gaps is highly beneficial as you’ll expand your skill set, making you more competitive in the workforce.
Look into courses, conferences, etc.
There are literally hundreds of courses and conferences available to you. Some are free, and some come with a hefty price tag but you should always have your eyes and ears open for these opportunities to help you professionally develop. Don’t have the money to attend a conference you really want to go to and you work is not paying for it? See if you can sign up to volunteer, this way you not only get something to add to your resume but you also get to attend the event for free! There’s probably a course out there for just about anything you may want to learn. Even if it’s not directly related to your job, exercising your mind outside of work can be very beneficial.
So don’t wait. Don’t tell yourself you’ll do that course in a year, or a month, do it now! Before you know it you’ll be retiring and regretting all things you should’ve done to excel your career and expand your skill set both professionally and personally.