Keep Learning Throughout Adulthood and Broaden Your Horizons

author/source: Alexander Keeper

Photo COurtesy of Dmitry Ratushny on UnsplashWhen you’re a child, you essentially have one primary purpose in life. You need to learn. Everything you do as a child is a learning experience. As well as attending school and being formally educated, you also learn when interacting with others. You learn through play, you learn through chores, and you spend all this time learning so you can grow up into a responsible and productive adult.

Then what?

Do you stop learning and simply do?

In short, no. Humans will always continue to learn through their experiences. But you can also continue deliberately learning and educating yourself, and you absolutely should. We aren’t “fully cooked” the moment we enter adulthood and the workforce. Look for opportunities to learn new skills and become a more well-rounded person.

How You Can Benefit

Often, knowing the benefits of something and how it can change your life can be a driving force of motivation. So let’s explore why you should look for more opportunities in your education.

One of the most important reasons to learn new skills is to further your career. Even if you left college or university with a degree and found a job with hefty qualification requirements, you should still look for opportunities to further your qualifications.

Some jobs offer to subsidize certain courses or will be willing to give you some time off to learn, especially if these courses are related to your line of work. If, on the other hand, you had a limited education and needed to get a job more quickly, then further education and training as an adult can be your best shot at a better career.

Further education and qualifications might also be necessary if you want to change your career and switch industries. You will need to learn new skills that apply to your new dream job.

But your career isn’t the only thing in your life, so it shouldn’t be the only reason you look for more education opportunities. Education can also help you enrich your personal life, pick up creative skills, and become a more interesting, intelligent, and well-rounded person.

As well as skills that are directly related to a career, there are plenty of courses that cover skills for improving your life and the lives of others. Here are a few ideas.

Photo Courtesy of Leonardo Toshiro Learn a Language

Learning a language can be great for your career advancement and your personal life. Language is one of the most difficult barriers to understanding and communicating with people from other cultures, and by learning someone else’s language, you can speak to and learn from more people.

If you enjoy traveling, learning a language can help you navigate another country. Even if you only know the basics, you will be able to get around far better than someone who doesn’t know a single word.

If you want to become fluent in a language, you’re going to need a teacher. Online language courses are an excellent way to get started, especially if they involve having conversations with real people. Even an introductory course can get you to the point where you can start talking to people, which will more rapidly increase your progress.

Some people do find languages easier to pick up, while others might struggle. Once you’ve already mastered another language, it is easier to learn another one. It’s also easier to learn languages as a child, so consider teaching your children another language as well.

Photo Courtesy of Alexander GrayFinancial Literacy

Unfortunately, most people struggle with money. You might be in debt, or you might simply be living paycheck to paycheck without any savings or financial security. The fact of the matter is that money isn’t as simple as we’d like it to be.

The good news is that you can take a financial literacy course to get better with money. This way, you learn how to do financial triage on your bank account so you can spot potential issues and opportunities to improve. You also learn how to set a reasonable budget, how to reduce or eliminate debt, and how to create and work towards financial goals.

This is the kind of skill everyone needs to learn so that you make every dollar worth its while.

Over time, you will then be able to save money and even invest your funds so you can grow your wealth.

Photo Courtesy of Alyson McPheeCooking and Other Life Skills

Much like financial literacy above, cooking is one of those skills that every adult should know, but not everyone learns properly. If you know how to cook, you know how to live. You can save money on takeout and, even if you don’t have a lot, you can always feed yourself and your family.

Not everyone has to be a gourmet chef. It’s fine to only know the basics of cookery, because you can do an awful lot with those basics. While a recipe book and the right tools can get you so far, they aren’t as effective as a cookery class.

A cookery class teaches you all the basic skills of cookery, and practice will get you the rest of the way. As well as knowing which end of the knife to hold, you’ll also learn how to create a simple meal with whatever ingredients you have on hand, how to plan what to cook, how to organize your cooking station, and then how to clean up.

Of course, there are other life skills that everyone should learn. You should know how to clean and do basic maintenance on your home. You should have basic IT skills so you can use a computer and a phone. Many people also benefit from being able to drive.

Photo Courtesy of Diana PolekhinaCPR and First Aid Skills

This is the kind of skill that can benefit your professional and personal life. People get hurt, it’s a fact of life. But being able to patch up those injuries can be an incredibly handy skill to have. Good first aid skills can prevent an injury from getting worse and protect someone from infection.

But most importantly, with even basic first aid knowledge, you can potentially save someone’s life. First aid is all about speed. If you know what to do when someone is hurt, you can act quickly enough to get that person medical help.

Many offices require at least one person with a first aid certification, so it can be a handy thing to have on your CV. Basic first aid involves being able to use a first aid kit and perform basic skills such as the Heimlich maneuver that can help someone when they’re choking.

Another good skill to have is CPR. Some first aid courses also teach CPR. If you know CPR, you can keep someone alive for longer while emergency services make their way to an injured person. Again, this can save the life of a loved one or even a stranger. Search for CPR near me to find a local course and get certified.

As with other medical skills, you need to get retrained and certified every few years in first aid and CPR. Thankfully, the courses are often relatively simple, especially if you’ve done it before.

Photo Courtesy of Alice DietrichCreative and Fun Skills

Who said that learning had to be boring? Education allows you to learn any skill you want, it doesn’t have to have a direct practical application in your life or career. Not everything you learn has to be monetized. Some things can just be fun.

It’s been said that everyone has a story in them. Or you could say that everyone has a painting or a song, or whatever else calls to you. In other words, everyone has a creative urge. For some people, this spells a career. They might create and sell their designs and creations and enjoy a satisfying career.

But while the hustle culture can be a great way to start a business you’re passionate about or even a side hustle to earn a little extra income, there is an unintended side effect. Some people feel as though if they can’t make money out of a hobby, that hobby is useless. This is especially true with creative hobbies, as people feel as though they have to be at a professional level no matter what.

But this isn’t the case. You become a more well-rounded and interesting person if you have these skills. Maybe you aren’t the best painter or writer. Maybe you’re not even very good at it. But unless you learn, you won’t have the ability to even try something for the love of it.

Find a course in a creative skill and give it a go. Maybe you’ll love it, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll be more talented than you realize. But in every case, it takes practice to master something. If you genuinely enjoy yourself, practice will come naturally and your skills will build. Education just gives you a headstart.