Education & Admissions

7 Reasons Why Continuous Learning is Important

By Amit Nagpal | Apr 6, 2020
Amit Nagpal | ACHNET

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.

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 with lifelong learning.

What is continuous learning?

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

1. Remain relevant

Don’t be left behind. Ensure you remain relevant to your industry by keeping up to date with trends and adapting your skill set. To function effectively amongst 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 you profile

When you’re always learning, you’ll keep improving and 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.

4. Competence leads to confidence

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

5. Sparks 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.

Find a learning style that works for you

Learning can take whatever shape or form works best for you. Different people have different styles of learning.

Visual: This style of learning associates information with images. Visual learners learn best when reading or seeing demonstrations, graphs, flow charts and brain maps.

Auditory: Auditory learners are people that learn best when information is reinforced through sound. They enjoy lectures and seminars, listening to music while studying and will frequently create songs about information to help them remember.

Kinaesthetic: This is the tactile style of learning in which people remember information easier when performing the activity, for example doing laboratory experiments or role playing.

How can managers create a culture of continued learning?

Managers need to walk the talk by providing access to learning opportunities and encouraging continued learning. You can do this by voicing your recognition of others improvements and efforts in learning new skills and provide words of motivation.

You could go a step further and implement dedicated times for actively learning new skills, for example on ‘Learning Friday’ employees could have an extra free hour to read business books, listen to webinars or practice new skills. You should also consider inviting speakers from within and outside your organisations to share their knowledge and expertise.

How to learn something new every day:

  • Get into the habit of reading by scheduling your time.
  • Build a network of go-to experts and ask questions.

  • Become a member of an association related to your work and initiate networking.
  • Learn by teaching someone else.
  • Conduct your own research and investigations.
  • Go to the library and explore the shelves.
  • Observe what’s happening around you.
  • Evaluate and reflect on what you’ve learned.
  • Apply what you’ve learned.
  • Resources for continued learning:

  • Read magazines and online articles.
  • Analyse and critique case studies.
  • Subscribe to publications specific to your areas of interest.
  • Make time to connect with a global network of people using Skype, Social Media and Email.
  • Attend training courses and events. Try MOOCS (Massively Open Online Courses) such as Course era and Udemy.
  • Listen to podcasts and watch TED videos.
  • Conclusion

    Always have a curious mind. Explore different topics and don’t be afraid to ask for clarity. Be inquisitive, and if your intent is sincere, there will be people who will help and support you in your journey.

    Experiment, try out new things. Keep the momentum going. Keep learning and keep reflecting.

    “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and only cease at death”, Albert Einstein.

    What techniques are you using to become a lifelong learner?

    This article originally appeared here.