Career advice

Never stop learning

by Christina Hubmann - April 20th, 2018

What does it mean do be a lifelong learner?

Just because you’ve finished your formal education, doesn’t mean that your education is over. School doesn’t have to be your exclusive provider of learning. Read about the benefits of lifelong learning and the ways to become a lifelong learner…

At least the first twenty years of your life you spent with learning. That is your main job during school and university. Have you thought your education phase is over once you have graduated? Well, no.

What is lifelong learning?

A couple of decades ago, you could finish college and you would have the education you needed. Today’s job market is different. The world is changing dramatically while we speak – so are the skills you need to have in your job. If you want to stay competitive in today’s job market, better become an autodidact.

Lifelong learning is the self-directed, continuous quest to seek formal or informal education for personal enjoyment or to develop career skills throughout life. It is voluntary and self-motivated, flexible, diverse and available at different times and in different locations. It is neither limited to any sector or topic, nor does it refer to specific areas or course-types only.

Why is lifelong learning of interest?

There are numerous benefits of lifelong learning. Being a lifelong learner could help you earn a higher salary as you improve your proficiency, become better and more dedicated at your job due to enhanced knowledge.

Are you impressed by people who have the ability to hold a conversation with anyone regarding any subject? The greater your knowledge base, the better you can understand other people’s situation, challenges and perspectives.

Lifelong learning keeps your brain healthy. You’ll feel more satisfied with life as you actively choose what you’re learning. The more you know about the world, the deeper you can plunge into it, and the more you can get out of it.

How to become a lifelong learner

Learning opportunities are all around you. And yes, you can still learn new things! Simply change the old-school idea of learning. It doesn’t have to be in a formal classroom setting. In fact, most of the useful stuff you know was probably picked up informally from your acquaintances and by trial and error. Therefore, be ready to foster a growth mindset at any time.

Find your sources

Allianz is committed to support its employees in developing the skills and capabilities needed to be successful in nowadays fast-paced environment. For example, new learning solutions are constantly introduced in addition to traditional development tools in order to help employees navigate the challenges and opportunities of digitalization.

That is also why Allianz is providing free access to LinkedIn Learning for all Allianz employees worldwide. LinkedIn Learning is an online learning platform with high-quality content of all interests areas. It provides access to more than 10,000 on-demand and expert-led courses on a variety of topics, with around 25 new courses added per week. Users receive personalized course recommendations based on unique, data-driven insights from millions of professionals on the worldwide LinkedIn network. Offers range from bite-size information in the form of short video lessons to full length courses of several hours’ duration. By the way, besides LinkedIn Learning, Allianz offers various paths to help employees to grow. Check out more about your development at Allianz here.

There are a lot more opportunities out there. Just do a quick Google search to see what information is available online. Check out different offers like Blinkist, OpenStudy, iTunes U or listen to TED Talks online. Coursera for example works with top universities worldwide to offer classes online for free. You can take classes from a variety of disciplines including computer sciences or psychology. Another example is edX. Harvard University and MIT partnered together to create interactive, free online courses about any subject. Have you heard about Udemy? That is an e-learning platform with expert-led courses. The list of online courses is almost endless.

Ask questions

Joining online courses is good. But being active is better and leads to a more effective learning. Don’t just passively consume information. Go out there and talk to experts! You heard a lot about Blockchain in general? Good, then explore what Blockchain means for your company. Ask yourself: How can your learning be linked to your company? While exploring, talk to experts and ask questions. They could provide insights and resources that you never would have thought about. Sometimes it helps to have a group of people to learn along with you.

Learning never stops

Having a job doesn’t allow much free time for learning for sure. But when we talk about lifelong learning, we not only refer to classroom trainings and a teacher in the front. It is to take on an active role in continuously learning. Take courses, practice, discuss – just a couple of minutes a day could make a big change! Also, try to find a way to put that knowledge to work. The fast pace of digitalization means that you can’t stay stationary… Lifelong learning is crucial to keep your skills sharp and relevant.

Christina Hubmann

Global Communications

Christina Hubmann works in the Global Communications team of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, the Allianz centre of expertise for global business insurance and large corporate and specialty risks. She has a journalism background.

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