If you stopped thinking about your education on graduation day, think again. Continuous learning is a lifelong adventure that enriches your personal and professional life.
Of course, even if you loved school, you may think it’s going to be tough to fit another project into your busy schedule. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to gain knowledge, expand your skills, and deepen your wisdom without having to drop what you’re doing already.
Consider these ideas for bringing out the student in you.
Continuous Learning in the Workplace
Staying up to date increases your financial security and helps you to enjoy more job satisfaction. Advance your career by becoming a more valuable asset to any employer.
1. Participate in trainings. It’s usually worth your while to accept any training offered at work. Your employer may even cover the costs.
2. Register for online courses. If training opportunities are limited at your office, you can still find plenty of choices online. Check out free and low-cost sites like Udemy and Coursera.
3. Shadow other employees. Reach out to your colleagues. Pick someone whose work you find interesting and let them know that you’d like to find out more about what they do. Complete some research in advance so you’ll be prepared to pitch in, and remember to thank your host when you’re done.
4. Invite feedback. Pay attention to what your boss and coworkers say about your performance. Talk about your goals and be direct about asking for input.
5. Write an article. Develop your expertise by writing about your field. You may want to contribute to your company’s blog or publish your own book. You’ll discover new facts and insights as you research your topic and organize your thoughts.
6. Train others. Teaching is one of the most effective forms of learning. Volunteer to mentor a summer intern. Ask your boss about scheduling a morning session to share your experiences at your last conference. You may start a trend.
Continuous Learning in Your Personal Life
Learning leads to greater fulfillment. Build your self-esteem and engage more fully with life. Devote your leisure time to meaningful activities and develop your capacity to become a better friend to yourself and others.
1. Expand your vocabulary. Developing your vocabulary increases your comprehension and helps you to communicate more effectively. Challenge yourself to become familiar with one new word each day.
2. Learn a foreign language. Becoming fluent in French or Japanese will help you do more than order dinner. Being multilingual boosts memory and academic performance, and may even help prevent dementia.
3. Ask questions. You probably asked hundreds of questions a day when you were a kid, but you may need to brush up now that you’re older. Work on asking open-ended questions that elicit more information, and listen attentively to the answers.
4. Experiment more. Daily tasks and errands can be teachable moments. Modify a recipe for spinach lasagna or whip up your own shampoo with baking soda and water.
5. Take up a hobby. Creative pastimes enhance your cognitive skills and reduce stress. Learn to play the piano or start a weekly bridge game.
6. Practice consistently. Regular and skillful practice optimizes your learning. Focus on deliberate practice where you define a challenge and try out solutions. Evaluate your progress and be patient about repeating steps in areas where you want to grow.
Set aside at least one hour a day to continue your education. Classroom learning is wonderful, but there are plenty of ways to have fun schooling yourself and developing your potential.