Lifelong learning is everyone’s job

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Traditionally, we have separated the world of learning from the world of work. Professors refer to life outside the ivory tower as life in “the real world”. But today, business and education need each other more than ever. The school cooked you until you were done and then you went to work. But like many other ideas, this has lost all relevance. Today you have to be continuously cooked. Any business, work group, or individual that isn’t continuously learning new and better ways to do the job is going to get steamrolled by competition. The old adage says “if you think education is expensive try ignorance.” It is truer today than ever. Ignorance is bankruptcy.

The good news about learning is that it is in high demand and it pays better than ever. Business Week magazine paints an accurate picture of the new economy that affects us all, it said, “Competitive advantage no longer belongs to the biggest nor those blessed with abundant natural resources, but nations that excel in creating new knowledge, transforming it into technologies and products in years to come. In the global economy, knowledge is king.”

Unfortunately, woefully unprepared people are looking for work in a knowledge-intensive, information-oriented, rapidly changing global economy. That is a big problem for people who need work and for businesses that need skilled people. 

Invest in your own continuous improvement

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While you may not have job security, you can create employment security. Employment security is achieved by sharpening your ability to learn and keeping up with latest and best ideas in your field. Learning how to learn is the ultimate employment security. Mark Twain said it best; “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over one who can’t.”

There is no future in any job, the future lies in the man who holds the job. That’s why well-educated people who are in good health and willing to work rarely face chronic employment problems. They know how to learn. It’s those without basic learning skill that faces big-time problem in the new economy. As a Haitian proverb puts it ‘Ignorance doesn’t kill you, but it makes you sweat a lot”.

No matter what you want to learn or what field you want to work in, the good news is that there is plenty of information available. The bad news is that there is usually too many information available. Let’s look at some basic strategies to help you find the best information sources and sharpen your learning skills.

 

Culled from Job Hunting: Old Game, New Rules

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