by Helen Sabell
Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from university or technical training. In fact, it’s something that successful people continue to practice throughout their career and lifetime through adult education courses.
In some professions, like those on the forefront of evolving technologies, adult learning is an essential trait. For others, it might not be such a prerequisite. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t stand to gain from going above and beyond and constantly training your brain to learn new skills. With adult education courses on offer for virtually any skill, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t strengthen your weaknesses and grow your career.
Here are five reasons why you can never learn too much when it comes to your career.
- Boost Career Progression Prospects
First and foremost, it should be said that employers will look favorably on anyone who can demonstrate versatility and adaptability through adult training. Perhaps you’ve noticed an emerging area in your field and want to up-skill through adult education courses. Maybe you’re thinking about expanding your skill set to an adjacent profession, essentially offering your boss two roles in the one person.
As well as a better salary down the track to reward your adult training, you may find that your boss is open to discussing personal development opportunities in the meantime to help you reach where you want to be. Talk to them about the possibility of paid adult learning courses to boost your skill set.
- Prepare for Change with Adult Learning
Making the decision to return to work after some time off is a big one. Perhaps you’ve travelled the world, had children, or been ill. Whatever the reason, those returning to work after a break commonly report feeling out of touch with the current market, be it new technologies that have emerged, new ways of doing things, or even new laws and regulations that mean new roles barely resemble what they used to. Luckily, adult training can help.
The best way to mitigate this is to continue to keep your finger on the pulse, even when you’re not at work. Try to focus on an area of your industry that interests you and subscribe to publications or follow thought leaders in this area. You might also choose to take adult learning courses on the side to stay in the loop.
This is also good advice for those looking for a career change. By proving to employers that you’re able to adapt, you can make up for a lack of experience in the field.
And finally, adult education courses can also help you to bridge the gap and get up to speed quickly with the modern landscape of your industry. There’s no reason not to take the leap and enroll in adult training.
- Focus on What You Enjoy
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut after a few years at the same job, unless you make an effort to constantly improve yourself and the company you work for. There’s a significant sense of satisfaction when you get to see the fruits of your labor pay off—and that’s where adult learning courses come in.
Is there a skill you’ve always wanted to learn? Maybe it’s an area of weakness that you’ve always avoided. All in all, learning and applying new skills through adult education courses make us feel valued, and that’s a wonderful way to better enjoy what you do every day.
- Improve Your Workplace Relationships
Not all education needs to be through a provider or formal program like adult learning courses. You might find that you would prefer an informal mentor in the office who can take you under their wing. If this is the case, then your adult learning could have the added benefit of helping build better workplace relationships. You’ll find common ground, swap ideas, and be able to discuss shared experiences.
- Be Less Expendable
While many employees expect and even feel entitled to a steady career, anyone who has had theirs disrupted knows that things can change in the blink of an eye. Perhaps the market takes a dive and jobs have to be cut, for example. By having a diverse range of skills on offer, like those you’ve gained through adult learning, you’ll make it harder to be let go because you bring more to the table that the people who sit on either side of you.
Whether it’s a career-specific skill or more generic leadership adult learning courses, there is always something new to learn. In fact, it’s often only as we continue with adult learning that we realize how little we know. It’s never too late to invest in your future by taking on extra study or adult training, and you can never learn too much.
Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult learning. She has developed and authored many workplace leadership programs, both in Australia and overseas.