If you’re like most adults, you probably believe your learning days are over. Sure, every once in a while you might accomplish something new, but schoolbooks and pencils? They’re in the past. Yet, consider the most successful professionals in your field — chances are, they didn’t start at the top. The moved up the ladder because they committed to learning new skills and staying abreast of the latest developments. You can go there, too, if you make lifelong learning an important priority.
Take Advantage of Professional Development
Whether you have to take professional development to meet licensing requirements, or you’re interested in testing a new career, professional development — also known as continuing education — is essential. Sign up for the classes that will teach you the skills you observe the leading pros in your field demonstrating. That may be understanding a new insurance product that offers value to your customers or the latest technique in salon services. It could even relate to soft skills development, such as tact, diplomacy, and being a better listener. Don’t just sit through the class — internalize the information and use it in your field every day.
Participate in New Experiences
It isn’t always easy to win a promotion or land a fancy new job, but you can participate in new experiences with low barriers to entry. For example, if you’ve always dreamt of running a marathon, isn’t it time you got off the couch? The attributes you’ll develop through outside pursuits — such as discipline, mental toughness, and persistence — will pay off in every area of your life. Others will take notice, so whether you’re into BASE jumping or quilting, try something new. You’ll bring a new attitude to every task.
Try Mentoring Others
What better way to understand your influence on others than by volunteering as a mentor? Take a new employee under your wing at your workplace or volunteer your time with an organization such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Once you see how others look up to you, you’re bound to refresh your purpose and reinvigorate your spirit. You also may discover reserves of strength and calm you never know you had. Once you develop leadership skills, nothing can stand in your way.