Throughout the course of our journey together over this blog, we’ve often talked about being a lifelong learner. We’ve talked about opportunities for lifelong learners to increase their knowledge.
However, looking back, I can see there has been a glaring oversight in this conversation: I’ve assumed that since you’re here, reading this blog, you ARE a lifelong learner, and you understand the value of being one! You know what they say about assumptions (and if you don’t, it’s not very nice) so now is my chance to remedy the situation.
Here, Letterman-style (minus the cymbal crash cues and murmured laughter), are the Top 8 Reasons to be a Lifelong Learner:
- Stay current in your field. Just as the standard computer is obsolete after a few years, you might need to take a course to upgrade your knowledge base. No one wants to be Windows XP in a Windows 7 world!
- Be ahead of the curve. Taking classes is a great way to show initiative and have an edge over your co-workers when it comes time to choose someone to promote.
- Boost yourself into a higher pay bracket. Many employers offer pay incentives, rewards bonuses to employees who continue their education while employed.
- Learn about something new. Take a class in an area you’ve always had a passive interest in but maybe it was outside the scope of your degree or studies. You never know what you might discover about the topic and yourself!
- Move sideways. Sometimes, it’s not about getting promoted up, it’s about getting moving into a new area (often with the same company). Those additional classes from number 5 could give you a new base to work from and an advantage when negotiating a change in position.
- Keep your mind sharp. Remember, the brain is a muscle. Just like a dedicated runner who takes a year away from her track shoes, you can’t start up again by running a marathon. It takes time and training to get your mind and skills (writing, analyzing, researching, etc) back into top shape. The best way to keep your mind shape is to give it new challenges and opportunities for growth.
- Sleep more soundly (I’m not joking). When you exercise your body, your body gets tired. When you exercise your mind, your mind also gets tired. The process of sleep restores your mind and being mentally exhausted helps you drift off quickly and more easily.
- Set a good example for your family and kids. We all know that “do what I say, not what I do” is not an effective role-modeling technique. If you have dreams of your own children furthering their education, show them how it’s done. Not only will it help you to reach your dreams, but it will show other people in your life the way to reach their own.
These are just a few of the many reasons to position yourself as a lifelong learner. So what motivates you?