How professional women can benefit from lifelong learning

Are you looking to live an emotionally richer and more successful life? Find out how adopting a lifelong learning mindset can help.

Professional women can benefit in many ways from adopting a lifelong learning mindset. From advancing your career to opening yourself up to enriching experiences, continued education can help you live a more meaningful, fruitful life. 

Get into the lifelong learning mindset

To successfully integrate continued education into your life, you must adopt a lifelong learning mindset. An article in McKinsey states that the  essential elements of a lifelong learning mindset include: 

  • Focusing on opportunities for growth; 
  • Striving for expertise and mastery;
  • Moving beyond your comfort zone; 
  • Building a personal brand; 
  • Investing in your personal development; 
  • Honing in on your passions;
  • Prioritizing your holistic well-being.

As you age, you must consciously choose to better yourself. By taking care of your body and mind, you are honoring yourself and your unique experience.

Learning never has to stop if you don’t allow it to stop. Whatever your goals are, you can integrate continued learning into your everyday life to enrich your experiences and open up opportunities. You owe it to yourself to prioritize your learning journey as a talented lady who knows no bounds.

Improve and broaden your skill set

The most salient benefit you can gain from lifelong learning is an expanded skill set. If you’re specifically looking to advance your career, try to gain essential knowledge like communication skills, leadership, management, critical thinking, financial literacy, and digital literacy.

It’s highly desirable to employers that you are adaptable and conscious of how industries change and grow. You should look to future trends in employment to guide your learning journey, such as advancements in tech and green energy.

Build a network

When continuing your education, you’re also establishing a network of like-minded professionals. Building a support system is helpful in your personal life and career, allowing you to bounce ideas off of them and lean on them during hard times. They can even suggest courses or job openings to you or help you have an “in” at a promising company. Insider information is rarely a negative thing to have. 

Building a strong professional network can give you an edge over the competition when looking for jobs, or it can simply expand your horizons. You will learn how to communicate and collaborate with a diverse set of people, keeping your social skills sharp and up-to-date.

Grow as a leader

Women, in particular, are underemployed in leadership positions. While there have been strides to create more diverse leadership, stereotypical gender roles and biases still play a part in how leadership is chosen. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), only 7.2% of women are Fortune 500 CEOs and only 25% are C-suite executives in the top 1,000 businesses in the US.

It’s proposed by the AAUW that leadership qualities are more often attributed to men based on outdated stereotypes. Men have historically been in leadership, and men typically have larger networks in the professional arena. The workplace itself is just not set up to support women, with inflexible policies for other life responsibilities like motherhood or lax rules around sexual harassment and gender biases.

Strides are being taken by many employers to change this, and you can show them just how powerful and capable you are as a woman by continuing your education in the face of adversity. Whether you’re looking to run a business, manage a team, or lead a community board, you can develop leadership skills during your lifelong learning journey.

It’s not only marketable to be able to manage people, but you can also gain self-confidence that permeates through all areas of your life.

Enhance relevance and marketability

You may choose to learn new skills to enhance your own business, get ahead in your career, or simply expand your mind. Whatever the case, a pursuit of knowledge keeps you relevant and aware.

Most saliently, though, is the way continued learning can future-proof your career. Your marketability to employers is exponentially increased the more you hone your skills and expand your knowledge. You can even tailor your learning to your ideal career path, choosing to take courses that give you specialized knowledge in that area. This initiative will place you above the pack when applying for jobs. 

How to integrate continued learning into your daily life

Whether you’re a mother, caretaker, single woman, or anyone in between, you may find it difficult to weave education into your daily routines. Luckily, there are ways to do so that don’t feel like a burden. If you’re in the workforce, look for companies that support continued learning.

This is a strategic move for employers, because it draws in more talent, reduces employee turnover, and encourages innovation and productivity in the workplace. Often, these companies will be more committed to your growth and willing to pay for any continued education courses you choose. This helps them keep and promote employees, and it helps you save money and time.

There are other ways to balance your busy schedule with learning that don’t rely on your employer. Try setting a schedule for yourself and sticking to it, letting those who live with you know what time you will set aside for reading or taking an online class. Instead of scrolling idly on your phone during free time, try to actively participate in educational activities. You can even use tech to facilitate this, like learning a new language with a mobile app or downloading an ebook on leadership skills.

Moving forward

Above all, make sure this journey doesn’t overwhelm you and take too much away from your daily responsibilities. Small steps toward new skills can add up greatly over time. It’s better to squeeze learning in when you can and feel good doing so. After all, you have the rest of your life ahead of you to keep learning.