Saturday, 22 December 2012

Continuing Professional Development

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
- Henry Ford

In our society, we often think of “learning” in very narrow terms: it’s what we do in school, and once we’ve got our college degree, the learning phase is over – it’s time to work.

Of course, things aren’t really that black and white: we carry on learning after we’ve left school, and not just in our careers but in every aspect of our lives. And learning often doesn’t equate to taking qualifications or passing exams. Approached the right way, learning isn’t a process of ticking boxes on a curriculum or course outline – it’s about exploration, growth and enrichment.

For me, the primary reason to keep learning new things is because I enjoy it. It’s not quite the same enjoyment that I get from watching a movie, and there are always frustrating and even miserable moments in learning anything new … but I’m happier in the long run.

If you take the time to consciously learn new things, you’ll find that you live life more deeply. Instead of chasing quick entertainment that fails to satisfy, you’ll have the pure pleasure of those ooo! moments when something finally clicks. The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to make connections between pieces of knowledge – and the more creative you’ll become.

If you feel like you don’t have the time, consider audio books. I use the Audible app on my smartphone and Laptop to listen to them. This allows me to listen to a book while I drive, walk, or when I am doing something that I don’t have to focus on.

Whatever way you choose to keep learning, do it with a keen attitude and a sense of its value to your overall growth. While keeping up-to-date with the skills you need for your career is important, don’t close your mind off to outside education. It will definitely help you down the road and give you confidence as you navigate the working world

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