There are many reasons to invest in continuous learning, but perhaps one of the most forgotten is the need to re-learn lessons.
Here are some reasons why re-learning might be valuable …
1. Typically when we take a course or learn a new skill we retain only a portion of what we are taught. Very often we are trying to cram as much information into as short a period of time as possible … the result being that we only take in a small portion of what we are taught.
2. We take training in the normal course of our career for any number of good reasons, but quite often our day jobs don’t utilise the new skills learned until later in our careers, by which time we have forgotten much of the course content.
3. As we get more experienced we pick up bad habits … one example might be the senior sales people who fail to prepare for sales calls, because they think they know it all. The reality is that preparation will always lead to a better call … and re-training is a good way to be reminded.
4. As we change roles the demand for some skills will likely become more important. For instance you might take some courses on presentation skills early in your career, but are more likely to use them later.
5. Over time course content changes based upon the latest thinking, new technology or just different philosophies … so what you learned, and practiced, all these years just might be out of date!
Here are some ideas to think about …
i. Don’t discount a training opportunity just because you might have covered that topic previously. Be open to the possibilities!
ii. Dig out some old course material and revisit it … I bet you find some content that brings value.
iii. Develop a training plan for yourself that is very pragmatic. Training is expensive, but there are many ways to learn! It may bring you significant value to take some of the short personal development courses offered, particularly if they complement training you took in the past. Learn from others … talk to people who take course you might have taken years ago. Borrow books, read voraciously!
Lifelong learning keeps you sharp, improves your skills and is absolutely critical if you want to remain relevant in today’s fast changing marketplace.