Seven reasons why continuous learning is important

This week (13-19 May) is Learning at Work Week 2019. We look at seven ways lifelong learning will benefit you, courtesy of Amit Nagpal

CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article which appeared on LinkedIn.

Learning is essential to our existence. Just like food nourishes our bodies, information and continued learning nourishes our minds. Lifelong learning is an indispensable tool for every career and organisation. Today, continuous learning forms a necessary part in acquiring critical thinking skills and discovering new ways of relating to people from different cultures. To live a life without continuous learning is unthinkable.

“The only thing that is constant is change,” Heraclitus famously said; change in your career, change in your personal life, change in your community and organisations. One of the most effective ways of dealing with change is lifelong learning.

What is continuous learning?
Continuous learning is your self-motivated persistence in acquiring knowledge and competencies in order to expand your skillset and develop future opportunities. It forms part of your personal and professional development in an effort to avoid stagnation and reach your full potential.

Knowledge is now at everyone’s fingertips. Those not making use of this opportunity will remain where they are – their capabilities diminishing in importance. These seven benefits of lifelong learning should be reason enough to never stop learning.

1. Remain relevant
Don’t be left behind. Ensure you remain relevant to your sector by keeping up-to-date with trends and adapting your skill set. To function effectively in this rapidly changing world of technology, you need to learn new things to remain valuable.

2. Prepare for the unexpected
Lifelong learning will help you adapt to unexpected changes – for example, losing your job and having to depend on new skills to find work. By continuing to learn, you’ll more easily step out of your comfort zone and take on new job opportunities.

3. Boost your profile
When you’re always learning, you’ll keep improving, will grow in your career, and start to receive recommendations from colleagues and managers. The chances are that you’ll switch jobs multiple times throughout your life and you need to learn new skills to adapt accordingly.

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4. Competence leads to confidence
Learning new things gives us a feeling of accomplishment which, in turn, boosts our confidence in our own capabilities; you’ll also feel more ready to take on challenges and explore new business ventures.

5. Spark new ideas
Acquiring new skills will unveil new opportunities and help you find innovative solutions to problems. This could earn you more money.

6. Change your perspective
Continuous learning opens your mind and changes your attitude by building on what you already know. The more you learn, the better you’ll get at seeing more sides of the same situation – helping you understand more deeply.

7. Pay it forward
Continuous learning isn’t just about you. Lifelong learning helps develop your leadership skills which then translates into fostering lifelong learning in other individuals, by encouraging them to pursue further education.

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