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Lifelong Learning: Strategies for Continuing Education and Professional Development

There’s no end to learning. Some consider it an activity that stops as soon as you graduate from university. However, in reality, the skills that you exhibited to get a job might not even be relevant in the long run. With the introduction of new technological developments, you have to upskill yourself if you still want to remain a valuable asset to an organisation.

Think back to your university days. If you have trouble understanding the structure of a relational database, you can always get SQL assignment help at MyAssignmenthelp.com. This is a good method to learn. Even if some concepts seem too complicated, professional writers will simplify them for your better understanding.

The option to do my assignments at MyAssignmenthelp.com has helped millions of students get top grades in class with little effort. However, things are different in the professional field. No one will hold your hand and simplify things for you at work. You’ve been hired to do your job, and it’s your responsibility to update your knowledge regarding your field of work.

However, sometimes, organizations do lend a helping hand.

How Do Organisations Entice Employees to Develop Skills?

While business organizations don’t go out of their way to offer professional development options to their employees, exceptions are present. For example, if a company needs to upgrade its technology, it can’t just fire all their present employees who are unfamiliar with the tech and hire new people. Instead, it would be more economical to train the current employees.

Now, some employees don’t need active motivation. There are plenty of curious minds who would love the opportunity to develop more knowledge in their field and learn new skills. However, some might be averse to it.

In the latter case, organizations employ the following strategies:

Conduction of Compulsory Seminars

Businesses usually encourages employees to attend seminars where they can get exposed to the latest industry trends. The concept of seminar removes the formality that is usually associated with learning. Since this isn’t a one-on-one learning process, majority of employees are usually not averse to this option.

Offers Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs can work both ways. A junior can be paired up with a senior employee who has in-depth knowledge in a particular field. Working side by side for a few weeks or months can be quite helpful in mastering any new technology.

Sometimes, a senior can also learn from a junior employee. Someone who has been working at a company for 40+ years might not be caught up with the latest trends or technologies. However, a new employee might be more knowledgeable in this aspect. After all, when it comes to learning, there’s no shame in picking up skills from juniors.

Introduces Incentivised Learning Schemes

Some organizations have gone so far as to incentivise the entire process. The employees who sign up for training programs offered by the company can enjoy more benefits, such as bonuses, additional leaves, and promotions. This is one of the easiest strategies to get employees interested in professional development.

Strategies You Can Employ – Take the Initiative!

A company will take the initiative to introduce learning opportunities when they have no other more cost-effective option. So, if you wait for the company to take the first step, you might be waiting for a long time. Here are some better options –

Sign Up for Skill-Based Training Courses Online

Theoretical knowledge might have taken precedence over practical skills in college. However, it’s the other way around once you land a job. After all, what’s the use of knowing everything about cloud cryptography when you don’t even know how to develop an encryption algorithm for digital signatures?

A skilled employee will always be considered a valuable asset compared to someone who has nothing more to contribute other than theoretical knowledge. That’s why signing up for skill-based training courses in your field is the best course of action.

Keep the following points in mind –

  • Sign up for courses that offer completion certificates.
  • Make sure to choose websites whose courses are recognised internationally.
  • Check the qualifications of the course trainers.

Worried that you might not be able to juggle a professional course and your job/studies? Then the next point is for you.

Chalk Out a Schedule & Stick to It

Deciding to continue your education or sign up for a professional course once you’ve already joined the professional field can be stressful. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to juggle the two.

You might not get time to laze away your weekends. However, what you will gain is more valuable.

That’s why you should come up with a proper schedule. (Step 1 – Easy)

Then, follow it. (Step 2 – Extremely difficult)

Figure out the time slots when you’ll be able to squeeze in a few hours of studies. Stick to the same schedule on weekdays and come up with something different for the weekends. Make sure to spare some time to rest. Otherwise, you’ll just end up exhausting yourself quickly.

Ask Questions Until You’ve Clarified Doubts

Being proactive when learning new things is a must. Suppose you’ve signed up for a course on cloud computing. You go over the basic idea on your own before class begins. That is also part of being proactive. After all, you’re going out of your way to cover the basics so you can participate in class actively.

Now, let’s suppose you don’t understand something in class. That’s when you should start asking questions.

Don’t let the doubts simmer in your mind. The longer you wait, the more challenging it will be to understand more difficult ideas.

Explore a Variety of Free Resources

Just because you don’t want to opt for paid online courses doesn’t mean there aren’t other reliable resources for you to explore. Have you considered listening to some educational podcasts? Here are some amazing career development podcasts you can try 

  • The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial
  • Lead with Your Brand by Jayzin Patria
  • Think Fast, Talk Smart by Matt Abrahams

Ted Talks, YouTube videos, and online publications like the Harvard Business Review: Ascend are some other options that you can pursue.

In conclusion,

Continuing to learn and upgrade your skills even after graduating and joining the workforce is how you can survive in this competitive world. Sometimes, companies initiate the learning process themselves. Other times, you have to take the helm. While it’s better to sign up for paid courses that offer certifications, you can also make the most of free resources.