I attended a conference recently on the topic of lifelong learning. I found the event link within an insightful AFR article where a Cisco APAC executive, Andrew Thomson had made some poignant comments on ‘employers value skills over degrees’. He had my attention.
So what of the subject of lifelong learning then? For me, lifelong learning is about a conscious commitment to find ways to develop and grow, indefinitely and continuously. This could be at work or not. It means that we seek out ways in which we can enrich our experience and draw the most out of our opportunities and challenges. It could mean formal learning, extending our ‘education’ in study, it could be extending our comfort zones, trying new projects, building new skills or exposing ourselves to new and novel experiences and adventures. It’s also about maximising the skills and strengths we already possess.
There’s a myriad of ways our curiosity can be rewarded while we’re learning but generally and perhaps selfishly, it’s the enrichment that comes from learning more about ourselves that lends itself to a more satisfying and rewarding life, not just for us but for those we value around us. With the turf comes the very real risk for failure but that’s ok when you see a long string of sometimes unknown and unforeseen experiences before you. All of them opportunities.