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Career Transformation Q1 2022

Unlock sustainable career success with lifelong learning

iStock / Getty Images Plus / elenabs

Gina Oglesby

Founder and CEO, Back to Work Connect

The working landscape is changing at a speed never seen before. This new world demands adaptability, continuous development and a mastery of new skills. Could lifelong learning be the answer?

Artificial intelligence looms large, competition is accelerating and uncertainty runs rampant – leaving many returners wondering and worrying about what this could mean for their career as they re-enter the workplace.

Knowledge is power

Modern career paths can often feel like endless conveyor belts, where you need to keep moving and learning to remain agile, competitive and relevant. But what happens when you step off the conveyor belt?

Many returners looking to re-enter the workplace may feel powerless or fearful that their existing skillset are outdated or, worse, irrelevant. Lifelong learning can help people reclaim power – allowing returners to enrich existing skillsets and regain control of their return-to-work career path.

Lifelong learning is for everyone and promotes learning at any age.

Outside the classroom

However, a lack of flexibility, high cost and significant time commitments can deter many returners from learning something new. The good news is that the way we view education is shifting and the quest for knowledge no longer needs to end in the classroom.

Knowledge is now at everyone’s fingertips. From evening classes at a local college to bite-sized online courses; you can build your skillset in many flexible forms that fits your lifestyle.

Never too late

Unlike traditional learning that is confined to the classroom, continuous learning is never “complete”. Lifelong learning is for everyone and promotes learning at any age.

In 2015, Californian Doreetha Daniels received her associate degree in social sciences. But Doreetha wasn’t a typical student. She was 99 years old and demonstrates that, regardless of your age, career status or educational background, it’s never too late to learn something new.

Investing in learning

Those who have the greatest career success are, by and large, lifelong learners. Entrepreneur Elon Musk grew up reading two books per day and inventor Warren Buffet dedicated 80% of his time to reading and thinking. The evidence is loud and clear: Lifelong learning is the most valuable investment we can make for return-to-work success. So, whether you’re upskilling to re-enter the workplace or pursue new opportunities, continuous learning can help you take ownership of your career path and promote an empowered route back to work.

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