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Never stop learning

Published October 10. 2009 09:00AM

Someone wise once said that we learn something new every day. I know that I've had a pretty good track record. Sometimes I learn things I don't particularly want to know, but in any case, it's hard to unlearn something, so I guess I'm stuck with it.

Plenty of people think that learning stops once we take off that cap and gown and leave the stage, diplomas clutched in our hands. Not true.

For many of us, the walk away from our formal, state-mandated education turns out to be just the beginning of a lifetime of learning. And the rest, well, let's just say their futures are limited if they aren't open to learning a few new things.

You may head right to work after high school, but your education continues. Many employers invest in some type of training for their employees, whether it's a brief half-day session on a new policy, procedure, or program, a full-day session with more in-depth information, or a longer series of classes where the employee advances their skill sets, or in some cases, their careers. If you're lucky enough to be employed, chances are you'll be required to attend some type of training at some point in your working life.

Entering a classroom or board room for the first time in many years can be intimidating. Folks who have worked at the same job for longer than they care to remember are often nervous about being in the same room with others who may be younger or more informed about the subject than they are.

Companies often hold training sessions at their facility, which can help their employees to feel a little more comfortable. Whether you attend an on-site or off-site session, you might be surprised at what you might learn.

It's healthy to push yourself out of your comfort zone once in awhile, no matter how old you are or how much you think you already know.

Participating in a training program could help you move up in the company or simply stay up to date on new developments within your industry. They also help your employer stay current and competitive within their market. All in all, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

Even if you aren't required to take classes for your job, it's never a bad thing to learn a new skill. You don't have to take a class just to score points with your boss. If there's something you'd like to learn more about or a hobby you've abandoned, why not take a class or two and get those skills back on track?

I'm one of those people who likes to learn and better myself, so I'm forever taking classes. If you're looking at a career change, you might have to go back to school and get some type of training so you can get a jumpstart in the new field.

Those lessons we learn the hard way-mistakes we all make-are often even more valuable than what we picked up the easy way. These are things we're not likely to forget anytime soon. That informal education is just as important as the knowledge you pay for-those life lessons that we all need to remember.

Learning new things keeps us active, alert, and alive so we can help others learn from us.

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