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The Case for Lifelong Learning: Why Continuing to Learn is Essential for Professional Success

In the professional world, it’s not uncommon to hear the phrase “lifelong learner.” But what does that actually mean? And why is lifelong learning so important?

In its most basic form, lifelong learning is continuous, voluntary, and self-motivated: it’s about taking control of your own learning and development. It includes both formal and informal learning experiences, ranging from structured courses and programs to on-the-job training and attending conferences and networking events. Essentially, if you’re doing anything to improve your skillset or knowledge base, you can consider it lifelong learning.

And there are plenty of good reasons why you should make lifelong learning a priority throughout your career. Here are just a few:

It keeps you relevant
In today’s ever-changing marketplace, it’s more important than ever to make sure your skills are up-to-date. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and those who don’t keep up will quickly become obsolete. If you want to stay ahead of the curve (and keep your job), lifelong learning is a must.

It makes you more marketable
According to a survey by LinkedIn Learning, 94% of respondents said they would be more likely to apply for a job if the company offered opportunities for employee development. Furthermore, 89% said they would stay with a company longer if it invested in their career growth. So lifelong learning makes you more attractive to potential employers, and it will also help you hang on to the job.

It boosts your confidence

When you take the time to learn new things and develop new skills, it does wonders for your confidence levels. That boost in confidence can then spill over into other areas of your life, making you more successful both professionally and personally.

It helps you earn more money
A study by the Association for Talent Development (ATD) found that employees who receive regular training earn 24% higher wages than those who don’t receive any training at all. Furthermore, those who participate in frequent training (defined as at least four hours per week) earn an average of 33% higher wages than employees who receive no training whatsoever. If you want to earn a bigger paycheck, continuing your education is a great way to make it happen.

It keeps your brain sharp

A 2013 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that individuals who engage in cognitively stimulating activities—such as reading books and playing games—in mid-life are less likely to develop dementia later on in life. So not only will lifelong learning help improve your professional prospects, but it could also help keep your mind sharp well into retirement age!

As you can see, there are many good reasons why continuing your education is essential for professional success. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, keep your job, earn more money, and boost your confidence levels, lifelong learning is the way to go!