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Why continued education keeps you on top of your game

You graduate from University, only for your bright-eyed 22-year old self to realise that wearing a cap and gown is really just emblematic of a new door to learning – AGAIN. Life and traversing across a myriad of professional opportunities has taught me more than any classroom could ever. Even now as a mother to an 8 year old daughter and 5 year old son, I learn new things about the cycle of life, like the importance of having paid attention to my long division techniques taught to me more than two decades ago. Life is a wheel, with every situation and circumstance creating opportunities for you to become equipped with a whole new set of skills and knowledge for handling relationships, day-to-day tasks, professional and personal goals.

“The highest action a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”

– Baruch Spinoza

Learning never gets old, and it’s quite simply something we should accept as a matter of life. Continued education across the various faculties of life goes a long way in keeping you and your ideas refreshed and refined. Having said this, here are a few reasons why every human can stay on top of their game if they employ learning to their daily routine:

1. Continued education is no longer as expensive as it used to be. On-the-job training (OJT) has been a huge contributor towards shaping my career, but I have learned just as much by enrolling in some free and/or affordable online courses in my areas of interest. My daily schedule leaves very little time for me to attend classes, so logging on to such platforms as Coursera has granted me access to some phenomenal courses from some of the world’s best academic institutions. If you’re struggling to figure out if there are extensions of your current profession that you can tap into – affordably – get online and check out the vast expanse of free tools out in just about every field of study. Psychology, Business Administration, Project Management and more! – what you want is the knowledge and associated skills right? Sign up and get to learning in your own spare time.

2. Learning preps you for better professional opportunities. Let’s face it; every job description on LinkedIn or any other job search platform comes with a set of minimum educational requirements. Having a Bachelors’ degree used to suffice for landing a good paying managerial position. Now more and more job posts request that the candidate has a Masters, and a set number of years within the chosen field or professional certificates to accompany their application. Add to it how competitive the landscape is as more and more millennials are attaining significant educational accomplishments as they dabble between several areas of interest. What's clear is this; when an opportunity comes your way, you want to be prepared right? So do well to learn more about your field of occupation, or any other area that may interest you. The knowledge you acquire will be a key component in your landing your next big opportunity.

3. We all want to embark in passion and purpose-filled enterprise. Nothing gets one excited to start their day than knowing that whatever they will spend the day doing will give them a sense of purpose ignited by passion. Your gearing up for such kind of a day lies in your knowing what you want to do and how harnessing your abilities to do it well will pave way for growth and subsequent success. As an extension to this, who doesn’t want to get paid to do something they absolutely love, are deeply knowledgeable about and want to continue to get better at? I bet your answer is an enthusiastic YES!! So get learning and see what new opportunities emanate from pursuit of knowledge.

4. Learning helps you perfect your strengths. Pretty straight forward – you learn to get better at doing something or enhance your theoretical and practical knowledge of a particular topic. Hopefully, the more you learn, the greater your need for involvement and engagement, paving the way for prospects to make some real impact by sharing your strengths.

5. You create a personal competitive edge. As highlighted in point 2., the key to staying relevant lies in your ability to compete. To compete you have to have something to offer in the form of technical skills, practical know how and the ability to effectively balance the two to get ahead.

This list is by no means exhaustive. In the words of B.B. King, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”What you learn throughout your life plays a pivotal role in shaping who you become. And we are all aiming for greatness aren’t we?

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