One of the most exciting things when you finally have your diploma in hand is that you never have to do homework again! Right? Well, sort of.
Things change over time. Technology, best practices, the market, systems, people, expectations. Even in industries that don’t move as quickly, if you don’t learn anything new, your knowledge will be outdated in a decade.
Be a Life Long Learner
Even if you are fresh out of college, it’s best to have the mindset of a lifelong learner. That means you are continually seeking new knowledge and skills to improve yourself both personally and professionally. Keeping up with current events, self study to learn a new skill, getting a mentor, taking one-off classes, and reading books are all examples of habits of lifelong learners. In fact, highly successful people, like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, read for hours every day according to this Observer article. The type of books matter - reading comic books may be entertaining, but likely won’t affect your skill set. Here’s a great list of books that are recommended for all business-minded professionals.
It might be daunting to think about your to do list as a lifelong learner. But keep in mind that the more you learn, the most successful you will be. Learning new skills can help land that promotion you’ve been wanting, or change careers to something more fulfilling. Bettering yourself will give you confidence in your responsibilities and workplace relationships. Not to mention that being a lifelong learner will keep your brain sharp as you age.
A recent study, published on the Association for Psychological Science website here, says:
“At the end of [the] three months [study], …[it was] found that the adults who were productively engaged in learning new skills showed improvements in memory compared to those who engaged in social activities or non-demanding mental activities at home.”
That alone should be motivation for us to keep challenging ourselves to learn more!
Put together a long term plan for yourself and your learning goals. What qualifications do you need to meet to take the next step in your career? What skills do you want to master? What would be fun and fulfilling that you have yet to do or try? As you achieve your goals and add more skills, don’t forget to update your resume and LinkedIn!