Lifelong Learning, Avoiding Complacency

Lifelong Learning, Avoiding Complacency

I’ve been thinking about graduation again. I know, again, but when you’ve come so close it’s hard to not let it consume your thoughts. Although every fiber of my being is fighting the urge to slack off and coast to the end, I cannot help but contemplate the future. One of the most valuable parts of graduate school that I’ll miss is the academic hub the college provides. By no means is Columbia your typical stuffy academic institution, but the atmosphere facilitates a desire to research your industry, learn new skills, master current skills, and expand your network. Lately, I’ve been thinking of ways to maintain this mentality.

Great classmates that pushed me to learn more about the industry every day | MAM ’17 cohort

Especially as a budding entrepreneur, I have to keep up with the latest trends, push my comfort zones of networking, and refine my business skills on a daily basis. Believe it or not, this is hard to maintain after school. Currently, I use a few tools for building new skills such as Coursera, Lynda, The Muse, etc. Some are free and others require fees. I’d rather my job (or school) cover those fees! Why is it so important anyhow?

Last week I read an article about the Episodic Career. We live in an age where the average adult will have 9 jobs, comprising of career tracks in at least 3 different industries. How do you keep up in a world where you’re expected to be fluid enough to shift tracks? That’s where graduate school comes into consideration. Maybe you apply for that master’s degree or even the certificate program. The goal is to display an array of transferable professional skills. The episodic career is one that is liquid, your skills from one industry translate well into another with a bit of immersive research into the new industry. Knowing this, I’ve made it a priority to maintain an aspect of learning in my daily life beyond graduation.

They’re finally here!

Regardless the path that I’ll choose to take after graduation, there is always going to be a reminder that I must push forward in the pursuit of knowledge. I love this quote from Henry Ford, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” I, by all means, do not want to become old because of complacency, nor do I want my skills to become obsolete in an ever changing industry. The quote puts into perspective the need to learn more each day.

Here are a few ideas I have so far that anyone can incorporate into their lifelong learning as well:

  • Read daily newspapers and emails newsletters
  • Attend networking events, meetup sessions, and conferences
  • Read leadership books
  • Learn a new skill from sites like Coursera and Lynda

What are some ways in which you stay up to date with current trends and maintain lifelong learning?