Markets, industries, and trends are constantly changing, becoming a complex and competitive landscape only worsened by ever-increasing digitalisation and globalisation. For many professionals, this means that their job competition is continually expanding, leaving many wondering how they can stand apart and stay on top of all these moving parts? Most don’t realise that employers look for skills rather than checking your current job title or a laundry list of official qualifications. So what does lifelong learning mean to you? and how can you become one? We answer these questions and more below.
If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.
What is Lifelong Learning?
Life-long learning is self-initiated and self-directed education that focuses on personal development and achieving personal fulfilment. While many take this to generally mean that life-long learning happens outside of educational institutes such as corporate training, school or university – it doesn’t have a standardised definition and can occur anywhere, anytime.
Importance of lifelong learning
Things change, there are new regulations, compliance, tax laws, things keep changing. So we always have to be at the forefront and figuring out what’s next. That attitude of being a learner is what will separate you from everybody else.
We have to be lifelong learners. Learning never ends.
Why develop the mindset of a lifelong learner?
Not only do life-long learners thrive on discovering new knowledge and using it to transform their customers’ lives for the better. Such individuals understand that being a lifelong learner is the defining factor that will separate you from everybody else, making them substantial assets to the company. But that’s not all, below is our take on why you should always aim to develop the mindset of a lifelong learner:
Improved confidence: Extending our knowledge and skills in both professional and personal areas can increase our self-confidence tenfold.
Refreshed internal motivation: Lifelong learning helps to remedy motivational slumps from time to time when things become more routine and less passionate in your life. It can help remind you what excites, influences and drives you to be the best you.
Improved personal and professional skills: While you’re busy gaining new knowledge or learning a skill, you’ll often be multi-tasking and using valuable transferable skills that will help you in both your professional and personal life.
What does being a lifelong learner mean to you?
Now, I’ll be honest with you. When I first started my sales career back in the dark ages in financial services, I closed a lot of deals with my energy. But my product knowledge was lacking, my competitor knowledge was lacking, my industry and market knowledge was lacking and I was struggling and I wasn’t hitting my targets. Then my manager called me into his office. I remember this day like it was yesterday and he said “Tom, you need to get some product knowledge training.” And I said “Why do I need to learn more? I’m already doing pretty well, I don’t want to get bogged down with the details” and he told me
“You need to learn the things that most people won’t learn so that you will do the things most people won’t do and achieve the things most people won’t achieve”.
You need to be a lifelong learner to succeed in today’s ever-changing world.
Examples of lifelong learning
- Internships and apprenticeships.
- Vocational courses.
- Teaching yourself a new language.
- Studying a new subject.
- Learning to use new pieces of technology.
- Playing a new game or sport.
- Adding to your skillset during employment.
How to become a Lifelong Learner
Merely understanding what life-long learning is and the benefits of professional and personal development are not enough to become an effective lifelong learner. Instead, you must tweak certain aspects of your attitude to fine-tune yourself into a life-long learning machine – check out our suggestions below.
1. Be accountable for your future
Once you’ve designed actions and set goals, only you are responsible for sticking to the plan. If you don’t want to lose sight of your objective and stumble on your journey, you’ll have to develop self-discipline to maintain your accountability.
2. Discover your expert power
Expert power is specific knowledge that differentiates you from your competitors. For instance, one way of standing out is to become an expert in your field instead of simply being a salesperson. Meaning that your expert power is a perception that you have a high level of expertise or a specific skill set that others in an organisation don’t possess. This way, you’ll make yourself invaluable, not just indispensable to your organisation.
Read how to get started discovering yours here: Why Developing Your Expert Power In Sales Is Crucial For Success
3. Identify your passion
Passion fuels and motivates learning more than anything else, so to ensure you’re making the most out of your self-development activities – find what makes you tick. Once you know what you’re passionate about doing, being or achieving, you can sew this into mundane everyday tasks to stay on track with your overall learning goals.
4. Exceed expectations
Contentment isn’t your end goal with lifelong learning. Mainly because this goal will lull you into a false sense of security – something to avoid if you want to to stay on top of a dynamic, moving industry. Instead, you want to aim to invest and reinvent yourself whenever you see an opportunity to thrive – to do this, exceed your expectations of what you can do, be and achieve.
Hire Certified Professional Speaker Tom Abbott
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Tom has delivered 100s of virtual speeches in 2020 and 2021 alone, is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), has delivered keynotes on almost every kind of platform and type of event. To top it all off, he has the ultimate high-tech home setup complete with 1000 Mbps (yes thousand, not hundred) internet speed, multiple cameras, a switcher to seamlessly incorporate slides, and options of studio setup.
Tom Abbott’s signature fun, high energy, and motivating talks move the audience to become future-ready, embrace change and stay motivated. Leaving your team inspired with the confidence and grit to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.
Whether you’re looking for a leadership speaker, motivational speaker, or sales speaker, have Tom deliver one of his signature keynotes or have us customise a talk to suit the specific needs of your event, whether it’s live, virtual or blended.