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Get the Life You Love! Campaign

Factsheet – Lifelong Learning – what is it and why is it important?

Lifelong learning is not just about formal education or employer training and development programs.  Lifelong learning involves a variety of growth opportunities, from structured formal environments to independent and informal or even self-driven settings.  According to the European Lifelong Learning Initiative, “lifelong learning is the development of human potential through a continuously supportive process which stimulates and empowers individuals to acquire all the knowledge, values, skills, and understanding they will require throughout their lifetimes and to apply them with confidence, creativity and enjoyment in all roles, circumstances, and environments.”

Five benefits of Lifelong Learning – 

Sharpens Your Mind – Nonstop learning helps to keep your mind sharp and improve your memory, especially as you grow older. Research has shown that people with more education are less likely to have dementia in old age. Just like your body requires exercise to stay fit, your brain requires exercise to remain healthy. The best way to improve your reasoning and cognitive skills is to continually learn something new.

Increases Your Confidence – When someone hasn’t stepped out of their routine for a while, hasn’t taken on a new challenge or really applied themselves to learning something new, they may find the experience a bit challenging. Lifelong learning helps you to gain confidence in your ability to learn and to share the information with others; you gain confidence in who you are and what you have to offer.

Sharpens Your Interpersonal Skills – Lifelong learning can take place in the quiet of a library reading a book or in a location where you meet other people who share the same interest. The opportunity to socialise can help to greatly improve your interpersonal skills. When you are learning, you are engaged in life; you are engaged in those around you. And when you share what you know, you help others learn and further enhance your relationships.

Sharpens Your Career Opportunities – For anyone who has aspirations of career advancement, lifelong learning will need to be part of the package. Not only can learning enhance the skills you already have, it provides you with the opportunity to learn a new skill or trade and improve your chances of career growth. The more you know about your company, the industry, and current events, the more relevant your skills are to your organisation.

Sharpens Your Ability to Communicate – When you learn, you usually employ the skills of reading, listening & writing; skills essential to your ability to communicate. Because human communication is such a large part of our daily work lives, it is a skill that most employers seek in their new hires. By enhancing these skills, you improve your ability to write a business letter, compile a marketing report, give a department presentation or even speak one-on-one to your boss.

Learning opens so many doors. Lifelong learning opens those doors for you every day of your life. Why would you ever choose to close them? Invest in yourself. Empower your life.

Reinvent Your Career would like to thank the Career Industry Council of Australia where this article first appeared.

Reinvent Your Career can assist you with choosing a course through our career services, or you can meet face-to-face with Australia’s leading Universities, TAFEs and private trainers at our Reinvent Your Career Expos in Sydney (September 8th and 9th 2012) , Brisbane (March 23rd and 24th2-13) and Melbourne (June 1st and 2nd 2013).

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