The importance of lifelong learning

The importance of lifelong learning


To stagnate and to stay in your comfort zone is one of the worst places you can let yourself be. As humans, we are designed to evolve and to keep moving forward. It is therefore essential to keep learning and growing, and sometimes you have to be the one to seek these learning opportunities for yourself, and it is your responsibility to give yourself this chance in life.

Benjamin Franklin once said something which hits home: “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

Learning does not always have to be educational, like studying for a degree or diploma; it can also be the learning of a new skill. We’re going to look at some reasons why lifelong learning is crucial and why you should never stop studying.

Make more money

As you keep learning and adding skills, and degrees or diplomas to your résumé, you become more valuable. As you become more valuable, your potential to earn more money is significant. It makes sense, right?

If you have more than one skill set, you could apply this to a side gig which will earn you more money (check with your employer if this is allowed). For example, say you work in marketing, but you have a passion for photography, you could use this skill to do shoots for people over the weekend and in that way earn more money.

If you’re applying for a job at a company and your résumé displays that you have more experience than someone else and an extra degree or two you’re A) more likely to impress them before the interview and B) you could negotiate for a higher salary based on what you’ve got. Many job ads mention ‘negotiable’ under salary, this is your chance to shine.

Be More Sociable

By learning or doing something new, it means that you’ll be coming into contact with and meeting lots of new people. Whether it’s in a new class at university, an online forum or in your new pottery class, you’ll be a lot more sociable, which widens your social circle.

Having conversations with new people broadens your perspective as you get to hear different opinions you might never have heard before. Learning through networking is crucial because if you have an open mind, it is much easier to connect to and understand people. By understanding people, you’re much more likely to further yourself in your career and personal relationships.

As we grow up, we learn every day by interacting with different people and experiences, and this results in our tastes, perspectives, world views and tolerance levels adapting as well.

Confidence Booster

Attempting something new and accomplishing it is a massive confidence booster and it means that you’ll be more likely to try new things in the future. It is incredible how much we can learn, and at the same time, you can show yourself that you’re able to do much more than you thought you were capable of doing. Activities you’ve never done before won’t seem as daunting to you now.

To be in your comfort zone is to be lazy and arrogant, your mind becomes complacent. What we don’t realise, is how this negatively affects our confidence, anything that seems remotely similar to a relatively significant obstacle won’t be faced because we automatically assume we won’t be able to conquer it. Wouldn’t it be great to change our mindsets completely and to achieve your wildest dreams?

New opportunities

Learning something new creates new opportunities. It’s always a good idea to say yes to conferences or seminars that your company wants to send you on, by acquiring new knowledge you could create an entirely different opportunity you wouldn’t have known about before. You never know, this could result in a raise!

At the same time, you could broaden your expertise in your freelance work. As mentioned above, your side gig can open up a whole new world of income or networking for you.

A great example of new opportunities in our ever-changing world is the rise of social media. Years ago, all we used our phones for, was to make a call. Today we’re using it for photos and apps, which are making money by the second. Think of influencers and how may thousands they make by posting a single photo to Instagram.

Don’t get left behind

The world we live in today will be completely different by tomorrow. Considering the rate of new inventions and developments, we’ll be left behind if we don’t adapt and keep training ourselves in emerging trends. In this particular point, learning new skills using developing technology is vital. With everything becoming digital, it’s important to know how to use these tools.

Advance your problem-solving skills

The more we learn and know about different topics in the world, the easier it will be to solve problems when something arises of which we’re unsure. The more you know, the easier it will be to compare the problem to something else, and then to sort out any issues you encounter, this will become a skill and any task or situation won’t be as daunting.

Other people tend to turn to people who know what’s going on, and this could put you in a leadership position at work and make you seem trustworthy.

Always Keep Learning

To keep learning will help you live a better, more fulfilled life. After all, there is so much the world has to offer us, and it’s there for us to take it all in. Keeping up with the rest of the world takes time and effort, but see it as an investment that you’re making in yourself rather than work, it will be worth it in the end.

2020 Career Trends

2020 Career Trends


Whether you’re busy searching for your first job or whether you’re looking to change your career path, it’s crucial to do some research on the current job trends for the year and for the years that are still to come.

Research is especially important regarding jobs that are in demand, with digital on the rise, careers in technology will be on the rise too. Data collection is becoming the norm in every business.

We’ve done some research and here are some of the 2020 career trends to keep in mind while you job search.

The use of assessment tools

We’re used to the old-school method of seeking a job ad online and sending a CV, hoping to get called back for an interview. This process is changing for want of something that will be easier and faster. With an increasing number of people applying for vacancies and only a handful of those skilled enough for the job, the screening process has become a lot tighter.

The inclusion of various assessment tools online has become the new normal. Before reaching the interview stage, candidates have been screened and put through multiple tests to see if they’re right for the job. Once you reach the interview stage, you know that you’re very close to getting the job.

Not only are your skills and knowledge tested, but your personality and extra-mural hobbies are also considered. Employers are not only looking to see if you’re able to get the job done, they’re looking to see if you’ll fit in with the company culture.

Perks

Companies are doing a lot more to keep their employees happy with a range of perks, and this is because they want to hold on to people who have the necessary skills and drive.

These types of perks can include extended leave days, incentives, free food and drinks, social events and flexible hours, to name a few. The work-life balance is a clear focus and is encouraged, this will only increase in the years to come.

The Diversity Focus

Tech Republic states that while past diversity issues have been addressed, companies still have a long way to go. They predict that 2019 will focus on making these employees feel included and appreciated in the company they’re working at. This is crucial to creating a healthy work culture.

Of course, each company will have different ideas, but some of these could include company events, free trips, good leadership roles and the tracking of promotions.

Job Search Method Change

The job search methods are changing slowly but surely, the use of AI in this process is increasing. Considering the drive towards a more streamlined process, job matching online is due to become the next big thing.

Gone are the days of emailing a CV for any job ad you saw online, career sites will now use data and machine learning technology to match people to occupations. Not only will this process be faster and more reliable, but companies will receive better quality leads as well.

Headhunting is becoming more popular, people who aren’t even looking for jobs are being made offers by recruiters. Companies are looking for specific employees and, if you fit their description, you’re more likely to get the job.

The Importance of Social Media

Social media is becoming a critical tool in the recruitment process. While LinkedIn is an obvious one that you expect your potential future employer to look at, your other profiles like Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat will also be researched. With that being said, if your profiles are not private, it’s essential to clean up your social media pages if you’re job hunting, as you never know who could be watching you.

If you’re already working for a company, it’s a good idea to clean up anyway and double-check what you’re posting. Almost everyone is on social media and you don’t want clients or your boss to see any unsavoury posts.

With social media becoming increasingly important, if you do not have at least a LinkedIn account, you should consider creating one. Recruiters will be searching for you online and, if they cannot find anything, it might not count in your favour.

Potential overqualification

According to The Ladders, your potential and what you could do for the company you’re applying to is becoming more critical to recruiters than university degrees or diplomas. Of course, these can only make your CV look better and could potentially put you in the running when compared to someone with the same experience but no qualifications.

To give yourself the best possible chance to land your dream job, build up some practical work experience while you’re studying. If no one is willing to hire you just yet, apply for internships so that you can show a company that you have a range of skills they cannot say no to.

With many of the Baby Boomers generation reaching their retirement age, the talent and expertise pool will be getting smaller and smaller. Tech Republic states that because of this, the American (and global) job markets are going to change drastically.

Jobs with the largest hiring growth

LinkedIn has created a report that lists jobs with the highest hiring growth in the United States over the last four years and these occupations are expected to carry on growing. The top five include software engineers, account executives, realtors, account managers, and recruiters. If you’re interested in any of these career paths, you’re bound to find something fairly quickly.

The Ball Is In Your Court

By keeping on top of the career trends, you’ll be able to adapt how you do things and therefore might be able to find your dream occupation a lot easier than anticipated.

The work, life and study balancing act

The work, life and study balancing act


There comes a time in our lives where work, studies, and life are bombarding us and if we are not adequately prepared, it can become a struggle. If there was a way to control and balance these duties – stress wouldn’t be an issue. We’ve got a couple of pointers that we think could help you manage your time while you’re working and studying.

The Balancing Act

Being a student and an employee isn’t a walk in the park. Eight-hour shifts followed by academic work are tiring – but there are ways around this.

Firstly, it’s essential to communicate with your employer and be open about your academic progress. Depending on your company policy, there is a possibility that you’re allowed to take study leave. If you can’t get study leave, then you have to manage your time well.

Plan Smart

The sooner you start, the more effective it is to manage your time in a calendar. As soon as you get information about assignment deadlines or exam dates, immediately begin planning out your study sessions. The sooner you start, the fewer hours you’d spend daily. A little bit every day goes a long way!

Break It Down

The way you want to break up your study sessions is up to you. However, you must make sure that you’re concentrating on one subject per day. By doing this, you’re able to retain focus and not be distracted by other subjects. After you’ve decided what you’re doing each day, you can break up your sessions by the amount of time you want to spend, or you can organise your sessions based on the number of chapters or pages you want to get through.

Be tactical and smart about it – make sure that you’re putting in a consistent amount of work each day and that you’re hitting your targets.

Time is Finite

As mentioned, the sooner you start planning, the less stressful studying and working will be, especially if you’d still like to be social and have time to rest. Preparing means you’re strategising your time so that you have time to do the things you want to do. For example, don’t waste time sitting in traffic after work! Instead, use this time for study sessions at work, then either go home when traffic has dissipated or meet up with friends.

There are only so many hours in a day, and you have to find time to study.

Play Smart

You’ve got to make time for yourself.

The brain is like a muscle going through fitness training. You have to put the pen down now and then so that you can cool down and recover.

How do you spend time when you’re not working or studying? Here are a couple of things you can do that will help you take time off constructively so that when you pick up that pen again you’re refreshed and ready to learn!

Exercise

While your mind is at rest, put your body to work.

Whether it means going for a walk, running or hitting the gym – exercise has been proven to increase oxygen to the brain. In doing so, you’re getting significant hormone production which helps develop your mind and decrease stress!

Keep active and healthy, and exercise at least three times a week, and you’ll feel the benefits of exercise when you’re working and studying.

Be Social

Susan Pinker, an American psychologist, states that when we’re social (face-to-face social interactions), we’re eliminating stress and anxiety – common symptoms of working and studying. Make sure you’re making time to see your friends and loved ones to counteract these symptoms.

Eat Healthily

Eat good – feel good!

Having a highly nutritional meal plan goes a long way in sustaining your health and energy. A well-rounded diet is essential not only for your studies but for your lifestyle and exercise regime. Ask your doctor on nutritionist for professional information on the best menu for you!

Sleep

Sleep is your best friend when you’ve got a loaded schedule.

Working and studying while you’re fatigued is not just a detriment to your mental health but it also stunts your ability to memorise the content you’re learning. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep is optimal for you to be fully energised and functional. People often make the mistake of sleeping more, which not only makes you more tired but also disturbs your sleeping patterns as well as uses up time that you could spend productively.

Avoid Alcohol

David Dutchman and Dr Philip Murphy composed a study on students and compared their alcohol consumption to their academic performance. Those who had high alcohol consumption rates had lower marks compared to those that consumed minimal amounts of alcohol.  Although other variables could come into consideration, science has proved that alcohol affects cognitive functions. Not only in the short term but with continued use, the long-term cognitive effects become worse.

Need help? Ask.

We are all different and therefore have alternative methods when it comes to balancing work, study, and play. Not everything mentioned above will work for you, and that’s okay.

Find an experienced working student and find out how they’ve managed to master the balancing act! Better yet, get in touch with your lecturer or department and find out what they believe works best.

Things To Consider

Working efficiently and avoiding stress is the ultimate goal when you’re studying and working. To summarise, make sure you’re open about your academics to your employer; strategise your time to avoid overexerting yourself down the road; avoid unproductive and harmful distractions as well as using your free time constructively. Talk to your family about how you feel when you’re stressed and anxious – often they know what’s best for you and can find a solution or motivate you. They do know you better than anyone else.

If you have any pointers that you’ve felt have worked in your experience, feel free to get in touch with us.

We hope that this will help your work and study endeavours.

Good luck with your studies and your career!