I am a bit of a nerd and love learning. I enjoy learning about all kinds of things, but I really seek out opportunities to learn how to be a better employee and a better person.
There are major benefits to learning as an adult, according to pickthebrain.com:
Learning keeps you from getting bored:
“Each week, I’m learning new things — and this keeps me interested, motivated and happy.”
Learning keeps you healthy:
“Students have shown that our mental facilities are best protected when we use them.” Staying mentally active helps us fight illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease.
Learning puts you on the fast track to success
“The final reason to continue with life-long learning is because that’s what successful people do.” The more you learn, the better you will become in business and in the area in which you are learning.
“My brain, I believe is the most beautiful part of my body. Never stop learning, never stop seeking knowledge. Intelligence is your sexiest asset.” –Shakira. If that doesn’t make you want to learn, I don’t know what will.
How can you keep learning?
There are formal ways to continue your education like graduate school and training sessions. I have been lucky to attend training sessions through my job. If your company offers to send you to a training session or workshop — GO! If you find a training that relates to your job and will make you a better employee, ask your supervisor to pay for your fees.
There are four different learning styles: auditory (learn through hearing), visual (learn through seeing), tactile (learn through touch), and kinesthetic (learn through doing and moving). Because everyone learns differently, everyone should try to learn things based on the way they learn and process information. Here are some additional ways to learn for all types of learners.
- Books: I have always enjoyed reading, but now that love has increased. I enjoy reading books that will teach me how to be better. Some great examples are: The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This by Kate White. These are a few of my favorites, but you can find books on any topics! I am currently reading a book on negation called Ask For It by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. Find something you want to learn about and there will be a book out there for you.
- TED Talks: If there isn’t a book, there is a TED Talk (and there might be both). TED Talks are great because they are short and always have good information. You can watch them at home while you are getting ready, or on your way to work and you will definitely learn something.
- Mentors: Mentors act as a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on and can be a catalyst for great ideas. Additionally, a mentor will teach and guide you. I have personally learned things from my mentor that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
- Conferences and seminars: These can be work related or conference hosted by someone in the community. Look into your local chamber of commerce for conferences and seminars that you can attend. Additionally, find out if your company has workshops that you can attend. Do they have a training department? If so, talk to them to figure out what your opportunities are.
- Get involved in a young professional group: I can’t tell you how much I have learned from my volunteer work. I have learned how to do everything from write by-laws, to plan large scale fundraisers. Volunteering for a non-profit not only allows you to build friendships and work connections, but you will absolutely learn. Join a committee or seek out a leadership role, it will be worth it! If you have trouble finding a young professional group in your town, Google it. There also are young professional groups for certain professions, find out if your profession has one of those.
- Trying new things: This is a surefire way to learn. If you want to learn how to sew, do it. If you want to learn how to bake, try it! Make a list of things you want to learn or get better at and do them!
- Podcasts: If you are an auditory learner, these will be perfect for you! Podcasts are like TED talks without the video. There is a podcast app on iTunes and you can find a podcast on just about any subject.
Learning will not only help you in your personal life, but it will help you remain sharp and that will translate to your professional life. Never stop learning! Figure out how you like to learn and engulf yourself in that thing. It is worth it!