The New Must-Have: Lifelong Learning

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

Years ago, having a high school diploma or college degree was enough to earn and keep a job. Today, countless studies report education and credentials are the pathway to greater earning potential.

So why is it important to be a lifelong learner?

Job security Today’s economy is changing FAST. Many jobs either have not been created or will require new skills and knowledge. For you to be resilient, marketable with relevant skills and credentials, maximize your earning potential, and to land on your feet in transition, you’ll need to remain a lifelong learner who constantly builds skills and competencies.

Mentally engaged Continued learning improves mental health as we age. Besides exercising your brain, you will feel a sense of accomplishment in knowing you are keeping up with labor market demands and well positioned to advance your career.

It is the right thing to do Even if your job does not require you to take additional classes or obtain certifications, what company wouldn’t want an employee who continues to learn? When it’s time to interview for an internal promotion, you can demonstrate your professional development and how you proactively improved your skills.

Essential skills are more than technical and include soft skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and team building. You could learn to be a better listener, determine ways to work better in teams, improve your time management skills or develop more comfort speaking in public. Lifelong learning is just that, learning for the long term to develop your skills. Learn more now – at no cost to you – at GCFGlobal.