Introduction to lifelong learning
Lifelong learning is described as a deliberate and self-initiated quest for knowledge. It is not only about acquiring information for academic or vocational development but focused on learning about non-vocational ideals.
There are two main reasons why we encourage professionals to learn throughout life. The first benefit of practising lifelong learning as a professional is for personal development where you seek to realise your full potential as an individual. This is done through increasing your knowledge or skills around an area that you enjoy or perhaps you want to develop a skill that will in some way enhance your life. All this is done so you can attain meaning in your life.
Secondly, lifelong learning is applied in one's life for professional development where one develops a vision of where they want to see themselves and determine the qualities they need to develop. This is why employers of today look for people with transferable skills as they give an indication of one's zeal to learn and develop.
Technical skills become out-dated as fast as we obtain them especially with the rapid change in technology these days. This makes lifelong learning more important than ever! It has become vital to stay committed to lifelong learning habits. The overall habits of lifelong learning encompass the following three principles:
Professionals must develop career goals and strategy
It is imperative for professionals to understand their lifelong learning career goals which are guided by their personal development needs. Even if it means going back to high school and doing your matric at the age of 60, that is also part of lifelong learning.
Professionals must stay up to date
Creating a habit of reading and understanding what's going on in the world around you will keep any professional abreast with what is happening and possible gaps within different markets. Various mediums such as newspapers, online sources or social networks for example can help you start this process. This will assist you to open your worldview and gain global understanding of how world events impact our lives and therefore anticipate trends.
Professionals must be in touch with what is happening in their environments
Information is available all around us; we just have to keep our eyes and ears open. The contexts people exist in contain various opportunities of learning. These contexts have various information sources, problems that need to be solved, opportunities to connect with the environment itself and practise what has been learned.
WAYS OF ENHANCING LEARNING
There are various ways in which professionals can enhance their learning which include learning from other people, listening to learn and actively realising your potential. These can be used as a starting point for any professional who wants to achieve personal and/or professional development.