The importance of continued learning

You can significantly advance your career through continued learning and adding relevant qualifications to your CV

By "Continued Learning", we mean the opportunity and process of learning new skills and acquiring knowledge.

Continued learning can take many forms including:

  • Formal education from a University or Accredited Training Provider, resulting in a Diploma, Degree, Post Graduate Degree or Doctorate for example. Distance learning, online-courses and part-time courses have made is easier for individuals to further their studies whilst pursuing a career.
  • Off-Site or In-House Training offered by Accredited Training Providers including Short Courses and Certificate Programmes.
  • In-House Training, Workshops, Discussion Groups or Lectures offered by your employer or invited field experts.
  • Cross-Training (sharing of knowledge between colleagues), Mentorship Schemes and Induction Programmes offered by your employer.
  • "On-The-Job" Learning when taking on new or challenging tasks, often requiring you to learn by yourself or call upon colleagues when necessary.
  • Learning from your clients or suppliers and gaining understanding of processes which assist you in your role.
  • Graduate Training Programmes and Apprenticeships aimed at fresh graduates, college leavers or students.
  • Learning in your own personal capacity through taking an active interest in your role and industry and ensuring you remain up to date with relevant issues and legislation. This could involve reading relevant media and learning from your peers and contacts in your professional network

Successful companies have recognised that training is essential to retain their best employees, remain competitive, boost morale and productivity and hence improve revenue potential.

As an individual, Continued Learning is essential for the following reasons:

  • It greatly improves job satisfaction - you need to be challenged and have the opportunity to learn, improve and develop your skills in order to be happy in your role. If you're not learning, you will compromise your opportunities for personal development and career progression, you will lose your competitive position in the job market and ultimately become frustrated and unhappy in your job.
  • Continued Learning is self-enlightening, gives you pride of accomplishment and improves your self-worth and confidence.
  • It's necessary if you want to progress your career. You need to improve your "value" as an employee and remain competitive in the job market in order to gain advantage over your peers or fellow candidates when applying for a position.
  • You need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date and keep abreast of changes in the market place including new technologies, procedures and legislation, in order to be able to do your job effectively and implement necessary changes or improvements.
  • You're far more likely to progress in your career more quickly and achieve the career you want in the long term.
  • If you improve your worth and your career prospects, you will naturally create opportunities for improved income.

When considering your next career move, it's important to ascertain how much training and development a prospective employer can offer you. Many larger firms have formal Training and Development Programmes and some will offer financial assistance with further education. Many small businesses won't have the budget to offer formal training. However, they may offer greater opportunity for on the job learning and give you a broader exposure and more flexibility to develop your role as you want it to be. Don't wait until you have accepted a position to find out! This is vital information you need to have when considering a job offer.

Author: Nike Wadds, Stand Tall Consulting

Copyright 2012 Stand Tall Consulting