Is learning only something we do between childhood and the early 20s?
Should we consider that once we are professionals and we fulfil a role on a daily basis, then we do not ever need to go back to class?
It would probably be a mistake to think so. Actually learning throughout one’s life improves not only on the personal development side but also helps generate better opportunities for oneself and increases competitiveness.
Never stop learning
When you stop learning once you land a job, you are bound to remain in a self-fuelled environment, repeating the same tasks in the same way and most times not benchmarking yourself against others in the same profession.
That becomes a problem especially when you need to find a new job as you will be competing for the same role as other Document Control professionals who may have been taking all opportunities to learn along the way and therefore may be more attractive for future employers.
Do not assume that you already know everything there is to know
Sometimes people think "I do not need to learn more that, because I am already doing it on a daily basis.
That is another common mistake to avoid: how do you know if what you do on a daily basis is the best practice? And the most efficient way to do a task? When you come to a course or attend a class on a subject that you think you know, you are most times surprised by the things you learn and sometimes discover.
Assuming that you know already everything there is to know on a subject means a missed opportunity to learn and grow. And to ensure your long-term employability.
So what is lifelong learning?
It is defined as the “ongoing, voluntary and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge.
It is about understanding that we are no longer in a world where you learn in school when you are young, and then apply what you learnt in the professional environment.
It is about taking all possible opportunities to learn more, to acquire in-depth knowledge, and to learn new skills.
It is done through formal professional courses and through “informal” learning for example through daily interactions and exposure, and in general through the understanding that when you miss an opportunity to learn it sometimes does not come by again.
What are the benefits of lifelong learning?
There are lots of benefits, for example:
- Improve skills to remain on top of your game, especially in a rapidly changing world
- Improve employability: be conscious that in this day and age people will on average change jobs between 5 and 15 times during their career
- Transferability of skills: Make sure that you will still be able to be a good DC in another company, environment, department or industry
- Purpose, pride and satisfaction: DC is a role in which one can take pride. Lifelong learning will fuel that pride and will improve job satisfaction.
And you? What are the measures you take to ensure that you learn constantly?
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