Of all the skills needed to succeed in the future of work, the most important is this: learning how to learn.
With an increasing pace of change and an abundance of information, employees and leaders must be lifelong learners. Perpetual learning isn’t about sitting idly by and letting new things come to you; it’s about actively seeking out new things, people, and ideas.
Being a lifelong learner is an active pursuit that can enrich your career and life in many ways.
Here are three pillars to being a lifelong learner:
Learning on an Ongoing Basis
Formal learning that happens in schools and universities is just the beginning. Perpetual learners are constantly learning in many ways, both through formal education and training programs, but also through non-formal learning from books and podcasts and even through experiential learning as they try new things and immerse themselves in the evolving world of work.
Constantly Applying What You Learn
Learning doesn’t do much if you don’t actually apply what you learn. Perpetual learning includes more than just work-related content—it can be used personally or professionally. True lifelong learners constantly apply their new knowledge to solve problems or identify new opportunities.
15 Top CEOs Share Their Best Leadership Lessons
Learn from the CEOs of Netflix, Honeywell, Volvo, Best Buy, The Home Depot, and others.
Get the PDF→
Understanding the Results and Feedback from Applying What You’ve Learned
As you apply what you learn, pay attention to any feedback you receive or conversations it starts. Being a lifelong learner means opening yourself up to continually change, improve, and grow, and the people around you will likely take notice. Take note of the feedback and results that come from your new knowledge and use that as an opportunity to start new conversations and build off your original learning.
Lifelong learning is truly the pursuit of a lifetime. The process is never fully done as you continue to learn, apply, and evaluate new things. Success in the future of work comes from being a perpetual learner and continuously finding new ways to learn and grow.
If you enjoyed the article and want more content like this here’s what you can do:
- Subscribe to The Future of Work Podcast where I interview business leaders around the world each week.
- Grab a copy of The Future Leader which has been endorsed by the CEOs of MasterCard, Best Buy, Oracle, Audi, Unilever, Domino’s Pizza, Ritz Carlton, Kaiser, and Marshall Goldsmith. It explores the most essential skills and mindsets for future leaders.
- If you are or want to be an entrepreneur then my wife and I just launched a brand new podcast on how to Be Your Own Boss, called the BYOB Podcast where we share what we did and how we did it. You can subscribe to that here.