19 July 2021

Sharpen Your Skills: The Power of Lifelong Learning

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Looking for new challenges? Seeking growth within your company? Just want to increase your productivity? No matter what your career goals are, when you sharpen your skills, you acquire the tools you need to succeed in the world of work.

Be proactive on your career path—read on to learn all you need to know about continuing education and the tools to hone your talents. Plus, discover how to cultivate the right attitude at work to achieve your goals and enjoy a successful career.

Must-have skills

Did you know that according to Employment and Social Development Canada, there are 9 essential skills you need to grow professionally and personally? These are: reading, document use, numeracy, writing, verbal communication, teamwork, reasoning skills, computer skills, and continuing education.

The last skill, continuing education, is the ongoing process of refining the other eight skills and learning new things. In a world that changes at lightning speed, you stay competent and stand out in the workplace only by continuing to learn and update your knowledge.

Continuing education—the path to success

At work, as in all things, “knowledge is power.” In this digital age, the world of work is constantly changing, and that calls for adaptability. Continuing education is a great way to keep track of the latest practices, new technologies and procedures, and industry trends. Employees who take the initiative to improve their skills earn their employers’ confidence. Interesting opportunities may come about and bring you closer to your career goals.

6 great reasons to improve your skills

It can be challenging to fit skills improvement into your busy schedule. You have to be motivated to get the most out of continuing education. Here are 6 great reasons to keep learning and stay focused on career success:

Continuing education enables you to:

Earn promotions

Do you want a management position? One thing is certain: you’ll need continuing education to achieve your goal. If you want to lead a team, you must develop your management communications skills. Also, since your employees will take their cues from you, you must always stay up to date on best practices, industry trends, and more.

Upgrade your technical skills

Many professions require frequent technical training to improve essential skills or reinforce best safety practices. Other professions, such as web development, do not, but training is a must if people are to keep up with the technology.

Broaden your horizons

“Have more than one trick up your sleeve.” This saying certainly applies to the work world. Developing a job-related skill is a great way to stand out. This also holds for learning a foreign language or mastering digital tools.

Boost your productivity

Productivity is a key performance indicator for employers. When you become more productive, you boost your company’s performance, and that makes you an invaluable member of the team. When you work remotely, learning to master digital tools and better manage your time can help you telecommute effectively and more productively.

Stay current

Online resources make continuing education ever more accessible, so if you want to stand out, you must hone your skills. To stay competitive and protect your job, keep regularly updating your skills and you’ll be ahead of the game.

Nurture your self-confidence

It’s easy to speak confidently about a subject you know well. Knowledge also gives you greater confidence in your abilities, which in turn makes you want to take more initiative. And when you have self-confidence, you inspire confidence in others too!

8 great paths to professional success

Any reason is a good reason to develop and update your skills. Are you ready but don’t know where to start? Here are 8 great ways to learn new things, broaden your knowledge, and enhance your technical skills:

1. Podcasts: aOver the last few years, the world of podcasting has really been booming. Audio programs on a wide range of topics are available on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and many are free. From management to digital marketing, you can learn new things while making a meal, taking a walk, or driving your car.

2. Talks and lectures : Whether online (TED) or in person, talks and lectures are great ways of continuing your education. Speakers share tips from their work experience and let you ask any questions you may have.

3. Video tutorials : Technology has certainly made it easier to gain access to training and skills development. Video tutorials are prime examples. These visual training vehicles make it easier for you to learn by showing you, step by step, how to complete a given task. You can watch many free how-to videos on streaming platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.

4. Training websites: Many websites specialize in continuing education of all kinds. For example,Udemy offers a variety of online training options on subjects as varied as Excel, web development, finance, and music. Do you want to learn more about the increasingly in-demand skill of web programming? Explore Codecademy, a site where you can learn various programming languages.

5. Coaching : Whether you want to learn more about yourself and your goals or acquire a new technical skill, coaching is an effective way to achieve professional success.

6. Training at work : Keep an eye out for free training offered by your employer, especially if you want to advance within the company. Training will help you improve skills or acquire new ones that executives and HR consider useful.

7. Language apps : Learning a new language can get you noticed at work. Smartphone language apps such as Duolingo allow you learn a language in fun and intuitive ways.

8. Skill sharing : You can learn a lot during professional conversations with your colleagues. Knowledge exchange platforms like e180 enable people to meet on the web and learn from each other. A musician teaches a web developer how to play guitar, and the latter helps the former build his own website.

The right attitude for success

Continuing education is great but pursuing it with the right attitude is even better. Having the right approach is key to improving your skills and building a successful career. Here’s how to adopt the right attitude toward professional development:

  • Look in the mirror: What’s the first step to self-improvement? Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Feedback: Welcome it, good or not, as long as it’s constructive. It’s sometimes difficult to recognize one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Feedback from peers and management can lead to the insights you need to develop your skills and focus on what you do well.
  • Be curious: Curiosity is one of the qualities employers look for beyond professional skills. Why? Curious employees are naturally driven to learn more. Feed your curiosity every day by keeping up with current events, carefully listening to what your colleagues say, and asking questions.
  • Be a self-starter: Motivation is essential to advancing within a company or landing a new job. Try to anticipate the needs of management and find innovative solutions to the issues your company faces. Being proactive also means being independent at work.
  • Manage your time: Good time management at work will make you more productive. When you’re away from the office, you’ll find it easier to make time for your professional and personal development.

At Promutuel Insurance, we promote employee skill development by offering continuing education and a work environment that is dynamic, authentic, and friendly. Are you an agent of change? Pursue a career with Promutuel Insurance!

So here we go! You now know how to develop your work skills and achieve your career goals. Good luck!