Lifelong learning is something we will all need as we adapt to an ever-changing world – but it needn’t be a chore.

 

When do you stop learning?

In the case of that 98-year-old I’ve been hearing about, never. He took delight in learning something new every day. And it’s becoming very clear that in a world where Artificial Intelligence is already changing the way we work, we all need to follow his example.

Because each of us needs to be in charge of our own career path.

 

Your personal learning plan

It’s not just about what your employer needs – although that’s obviously important, too. It’s about what you need. What your goals are for the future – and the knowledge you must acquire to achieve those goals. What you’re good at, and need to learn more about. What you’re not so good at, but want to improve. And what you’d like to be good at, because you think it could take you in a new and fruitful direction.

For some of us, this feels like something new – especially if our experience of learning has been limited to the formal classroom and guided study. But that’s not how children learn in kindergarten – and that, according to MIT professor Mitchel Resnick, is the approach we should all be aiming for. Old and young alike.

Small children love to make things and break things, over and over again, doing things together until they get what they want. That’s why LEGO remains such a popular toy. And there’s no reason at all why learning can’t be fun. Why, like children in kindergarten, we can’t discover the things we need to know through experimentation and exploration. Resnick’s approach to lifelong learning is based on what he calls the ‘four Ps’: projects, passion, peers and play. And it’s the perfect way to learn about software, because there’s nothing to break. (Unless, of course, you choose to vent your frustration on your computer…)

 

Need a little help to ‘get into the habit’?

Then there’s a very useful online resource called ‘A Professional’s Guide to Modern Learning‘ which will get you started. As it reminds us, ‘… every one of us must have a career strategy, and that strategy should be guided by your industry’s trajectory. You should be fine-tuned to the intricacies of your profession. You have no choice. You have to self-develop to stay relevant. Always remember that YOU are in charge of your career. Never get sucked into the “company knows best” approach to your career.’

As we’ve remarked in an earlier post, Microsoft are planning important upgrades to their Excel software. They’re clearly keen to ensure that it remains ‘must-have’ technology – whatever the future brings. So if you’re aiming to keep pace with change, there’s no better place to start than one of our Excel courses. Interested? Just give us a call on 0345 1188150 or send us an email.

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