Employers value people who invest in their education and professional development. Of course, many employers offer to pay for professional development, but the initiative to invest in yourself pays. It’s definitely key to being the last candidate standing at job interviews!
In fact, research by recruitment firm HAYS shows that employers are 77% more likely to shortlist a qualified candidate who upskills regularly!
It’s a win-win, as a commitment to lifelong learning is also a valuable tool to gain a promotion, start your own business or pivot when you want to change careers. So, what’s the difference between education and professional development?
Education versus professional development
Education is different to professional development, and both are important. While the latter is a formal degree or diploma you earn to practice your profession, professional development ensures you’re relevant and continually improving in your career.
But you need to capitalise on your commitment to professional development – especially when applying for a promotion or a new job! So, how do you best showcase that you’re a lifelong learner?
#1 – Keep your resume up to date!
It’s crucial to keep your resume relevant. How long since you have yours a refresh? If it’s been over a year, it’s probably time to give it a makeover. It’s important to have your resume ready should you suddenly need it, not just when looking for a new job. You just don’t know what’s around the corner – whether redundancy or opportunity for promotion.
Make sure you add all relevant professional development, from short courses you’ve completed to seminars and events you’ve attended. Try to keep it brief while explaining what you’ve learnt, the skills you’ve acquired and why it’s important to the role. You should also bring professional transcripts to your interview to prove that you have the credentials listed on your resume.
#2 – Share your learning credentials over socials
Social media is a superpower when you use it for good! Make sure you share your educational and professional development achievements on all your social channels. LinkedIn is the obvious choice, but all socials can be powerful when it comes to making new connections.
You just never know when that friend of a friend might be the crucial networking link to your dream career!
Remember, LinkedIn keywords are key when it comes to attracting hiring managers – so make sure you use the right ones to describe your professional development achievements.
#3 – Write for industry publications
Most professions have industry publications that accept freelance editorial. So, if what you’ve learned could help or empower others, get in touch with your industry publication and ask about contributor guidelines.
You’ll usually get a by-line, and if it’s digital, you might even get a link to your LinkedIn profile or personal/business website.
#4 – Blog and guest blog
Do you have your own website and blog? If so, it’s an excellent way to show what you know. Blog often and use keywords that rank highly for your business or industry – you might catch an important client or potential employer when they’re looking for talent.
You can also guest blog for industry organisations or businesses that align with your career goals. In addition to capturing an audience and showcasing your ‘learning mindset,’ you’re also showing off your impeccable written communication skills!
6 Powerful Habits of Lifelong Learners
If you’re struggling to make lifelong learning a habit, take a look at what the pros do to use knowledge as a superpower!
#1 – Read every day!
Read whatever you can get your hands on, from self-help books that improve your state of mind to biographies and autobiographies of extraordinary people – reading is also a superpower! So, make time for it every day.
#2 – Step outside their comfort zone
Lifelong learnings are always ready to take on new challenges. If they don’t – they know they’ll stay stuck. It takes courage to do something new, but the rewards are worth it. So, next time someone asks if you’d be interested in taking on a new task or a different role, grab it with both hands!
#3 – Lifelong learning is age-less
In other words, you’re never too old to learn something new – or become someone new! You can reinvent yourself at any age and at any stage of your career. In fact, having experience is a bonus when it comes to learning a new skill, as you’ll build on a lifetime of knowledge.
#4 – Embrace change
Change is inevitable if you want to grow. Lifelong learners know how to adapt to change and use it to their advantage. Transformation often leads to extraordinary results – so welcome it in your career and personal life and stay open-minded!
#5 – Make and follow through with goals
Lifelong learners know how to set SMART goals and follow through. Research shows that setting SMART and ambitious goals are linked with higher motivation, self-esteem, self-confidence, autonomy and success! So, keep setting goals – and never stop improving yourself.
#6 Enrol in various courses
Whether online or on-campus, lifelong learners enrol in many short courses to thrive in their professional and personal lives.
Are you looking for a new direction? We’ve got you covered. Enrol in an online personal or professional development course today and continue (or begin) your adventure as a lifelong learner!