The Argument for Continuous Learning

14 Feb The Argument for Continuous Learning

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy

After completing your education and beginning work, finding opportunities for learning and growth can become difficult. For one, if you do not have an interest in learning new skills or being challenged in your work, and you do not have a push to do so, the importance dwindles. Making time to learn new things is another issue for busy adults. Furthering your education, which can take many forms, requires drive, prioritization, perseverance, and self-discipline.

You also might run into obstacles for continuing education with your employer. Hopefully most companies recognize benefits of its employees’ interest in learning, developing new skills and ultimately staying ahead of the curve. Having workers like this is invaluable to employers, who will have the best and brightest employees learning the best ways to prepare for the future in your industry.   

Continuous learning can take many forms, including conferences, networking events, webinars, classes, and other meetups/events. Benefits are numerous.

Develop and update skills to be a valuable asset to your company.

Falling behind is easy in our constantly evolving world, and your company is no different. Keeping pace with industry trends, best practices and new techniques requires a full time commitment to researching, learning and staying informed. Having employees who are passionate about educating themselves for the benefit of the team are irreplaceable assets to a company that can quickly become bogged down and behind as their industry changes.

Be a mentor or leader for others.

By taking an interest in continuing your education, you are able to hone your skills and share your thoughts with your team or department. Often, showing a passion for learning opens the door to other opportunities for growth and advancement within your company, such as a management role. An employee that wants to develop and grow is the perfect candidate for a promotion down the road, especially if he or she will encourage that learning and education to their team once in a leadership position.  

Become more fulfilled in your professional development.

Learning and growing throughout your career often leads to a more fulfilling and happy professional life. Taking the time to continually keep up with your evolving industry, and even learning about a new area of expertise that interests you, means your skills and marketability are flourishing. This could lead to a potential job or industry change, or even a new business idea that you work to develop. Constantly learning becomes an inspiration for your professional and personal life.

Having the motivation to continue learning may not always be easy, but reminding yourself of the benefits and opportunities is a good way to do so. A love of learning makes for an adaptable, invaluable employee with fresh perspective and ideas. Challenge yourself to find an event or class to attend where you can learn something new. Encourage your colleagues and friends to do the same. Push yourself to take on new opportunities and take part in the constantly changing environment around you.

Andy Jankowski

Andy is a Global Executive in IBM's Talent & Transformation Practice and the Global Leader of IBM's Managed Employee Services offering. With a background in enterprise technology and management consulting, he's spend the last of 26 years helping companies understand, plan for, adopt and use new technologies to transform their businesses. He is known for his view that lasting, meaningful business transformation happens from the inside out, and focuses almost exclusively on business objectives, outcomes and new, better ways of working. A few examples include: Forbes: “From Inside Out, Speed Your Company’s Transformation” BBC News: "Online Chatting at Work Gets the Thumbs Up from Bosses" Forbes: "How Employers And Employees Collaborate To Create Better Work" Andy is a frequent keynote speaker on the topic of using new technologies to transform the way business is done. When not working, you can find him spending time with his wife and two children, boating, road cycling and playing electric guitar.

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