It is impossible to be a master. There is always something new to learn. You may hold that title because you reach a certain skill set or because you are the best at what you do, but that doesn’t mean that you have plateaued. There is so much to learn and so many ways to improve yourself and your business.
Lifelong learning is a great philosophy to take on and works to improve your wellbeing and your business acumen. The world is changing, innovating, and fluctuating. To be on top of such a world, you yourself must also be reinventing yourself, which can be done in big and small ways to help you reach your goals.
What you learn doesn’t have to be strictly related to business administration. In fact, by diversifying what you learn and focus on, you can draw inspiration from unexpected places. It isn’t enough to simply be taught; you must infer and innovate on your own.
This is something that happens naturally over time as you collect information and start to connect new dots together. It can feel like a lot of work, but with this guide, you can grow your knowledge, expand your skill set, and feel great about it every step of the way.
Benefits of Lifelong Learning
There are so many reasons to learn something new every day. For your career, for your personal life, and for your wellbeing.
Improved Understanding of the World
The world is connected, and your business or career path is no different. If you understand the concepts that help the world go round, you can better understand your place in it. This conceptual understanding is very important for business leaders, who need to draw from the talents of others to see tasks and goals through.
Great Place to Find Inspiration
Being inspired is how people stand out. If you have a great idea that you learned from an unexpected source, run with it. There is inspiration to be found everywhere, from unrelated topics to even from experts in wildly different fields.
Learn, and you automatically improve your ability to communicate. If you are being taught new concepts from intelligent, well-spoken, or written people every day, you will automatically start emulating this tone of voice that is authoritative and passionate.
Feeling fulfilled is an important part of living well, and stagnating does not help with this goal. Learning something new every day and feeling like you are progressing – even if it’s just personally – can do wonders for your mental health and wellbeing. From a new fun fact to a very interesting new concept that can help you with your own career goals, everything you learn can benefit your wellbeing.
Everyday Ways to Learn
It can be a lot to take on learning while you are already juggling work, your social life, and of course, everyday responsibilities. That is why to get started; you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself. Learning just one little new thing a day can make a big difference over time.
There are absolutely more targeted, hands-on ways to learn, but the best way to get started and to keep at it is with these three methods:
Even if you just read fiction that had nothing to offer your career, you can still benefit massively from reading. Reading works to improve your grammar, vocabulary, and communication skills. For the best results for your career, of course, you will want to focus your attention on subjects that can help you directly.
There are books out there for everything, from marketing all the way to operations management. Simply look online to see which ones are best recommended by top professionals. For operations management, for example, Kettering Online has put together a great list of books recommended by top business people from around the world, and you can access their list by clicking here.
It isn’t just books that you can get the information you need. Don’t be afraid to subscribe to industry blogs and magazines as well for everyday tips and tricks. For more specific information, look at academic or scientific journals, and for key industry insight, aim to read through the relevant annual industry reports.
Listening to Podcasts
You should absolutely aim to read, but reading isn’t enjoyable for everyone. If you are one of those that would prefer other means to keep in the loop and to learn, try podcasts. Podcasts are great little radio shows that can teach you directly in a topic segment or indirectly by interviewing top influencers and business leaders in your industry.
There are so many great ideas out there, and podcasts make it easy to learn about them. The best part is that you can use them to spice up your commute. Put them on while you are in the car or while you are on public transport.
Staying Up to Date with the News
Though there is less to directly learn from the news, it is always important to keep track of what is going on, both in the world and in your industry specifically.
Targeted Learning Opportunities
Online courses or workshops are targeted learning opportunities. They are drafted differently than a book, for example, and aim to teach you either something specific or something new. With the rise in online education, this is easy and can be very enjoyable.
There is no reason to take on a degree to simply understand more about a different industry or process. In these cases, a cursory understanding can help you identify opportunities and pursue leads from there. If you are a business with its own supply chain, for example, understanding agricultural or mining processes can help you better comprehend your suppliers and find opportunities this way.
Many of these targeted learning opportunities are even available for free, which gives you the freedom to try out new things and learn online without any pressure. You don’t need to be strictly focused on learning concepts that are directly related to your business, either. You could learn psychology, or marketing, or even anthropology. The beauty of learning is that we relate what we learn back to our existing knowledge. You may be surprised at just where new inspiration hits.
Social Learning Opportunities
Learning online and on your own means that you can incorporate your newfound approach to life on your own time. It is not, however, the only option. We are naturally social creatures, and as such, learning socially is an important way to move forward and really workshop new ideas and concepts that can help you personally and professionally.
While you may still need to wait to see people in person, there is nothing from stopping you from joining groups or comment discussions. Try to find talks, workshops, and events that are of interest to you. Once again, these don’t have to be directly related to your business, especially as the goal is to talk to and discuss ideas with those from different backgrounds.
New ideas can be found everywhere. Don’t assume for one moment that you will be the one to come up with every great idea on your own. Sometimes you need a new perspective, which is why workshops and events are excellent places to learn and improve your own business.
When to Pursue a Degree
There are times for further education. Perhaps you want to improve your business skills, or you want to finally understand how to manage and improve a supply chain. There are skills that are best learned on the job and others that are best learned in a classroom.
Today you don’t actually have to make a choice between one and the other. There are many great online degrees out there that are available to be taken entirely online and just one course at a time. This way, you can work your education around your work schedule, and as your degree should be related to your career, you can start to put what you have learned to use from the first day.
Incorporating Learning into Your Routine
Reading one book a year isn’t lifelong learning. Neither is dropping out of your degree or enrolling in a free online course and never using your access. It will take time to get used to learning a little every day, but if you can build it into your routine, learning like this will start to feel as easy as breathing.
It’s easy to keep going with something when you know and can feel the benefits for yourself. When you first start out, however, this won’t be the case. You may feel frustrated when the books you pick up start off with concepts you’ve known for years. It may feel like a waste of time when a podcast only regurgitates information you already had.
It can take time to find the right materials to get you started, but once you do and start to enjoy the process, you will enjoy all those aforementioned benefits and more.