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All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to reading.

8 Realistic Life-long Learning Tips

The concept of life-long learning is adopted often and by many. It’s a fact that in a fast changing world it is important to keep learning, but in a fast paced world it is also hard to find time. Here are some REAL WORLD ideas that anyone can use to keep learning and growing.

Create your own “Lifelong Learning Plan” focused on all the things you can do for you!  Use the following 8 tips to fill out that plan.

  1. Read!  You need to cultivate this habit, set aside time and read content that will be Business person standing on top of a pile of booksuseful to you.  Read newspaper articles that keep you abreast of world trends, read about innovations in the world, read about what others are doing.
  2. Get mentors/advisors/collaborators.  People that can guide you, help you and impart their experience and knowledge.  This is not easy and YOU need to do all the work.  Be prepared with what you want to know, with relevant questions and with a desire to learn.
  3. Set aside time for further education at your local college, university, any institution that offers training.  Online sources like Coursera offer free, but valuable training opportunities.
  4. Revisit old training materials.  When you completed that last course you likely only retained some relatively small percentage of the content.  Go back and revisit it, improve the return on that investment!
  5. Borrow training materials from colleagues.  If they liked it, and are willing to lend you the material, it is a good way to get cheap training.
  6. Find online content that is relevant to you.  Use RSS feeds, follow blogs, get on Twitter and follow interesting people.
  7. Get involved with charities and not for profits.  You will learn from people who work in totally different worlds than you.
  8. Network.  Get involved with your industry association and make connections with other contractors in your profession.  This will open up doors to the mentors, courses, and learning material mentioned in the previous tips.

Learning doesn’t have to mean giving up valuable time and money to go back to school.  All of the tips above can easily be done on weekends and evenings and won’t cost you your personal life either.  Do you have any other ways you continue to learn?  Please share them with us in the comments below.