Being a lifelong learner: Good for your career; good for your health
We know that at any age, the brain can make changes for better or for worse. In the brain, blood flow is regulated to the neurons in the structures that are most active, strengthening and reinforcing these particular connections. To strengthen brain health and achieve career advances, one needs to be a lifelong learner. For learning to be successful, individuals need to understand how they are motivated and they need to be willing to step away from their comfort zones and learn something new.
Here are 5 great reasons to be a lifelong learner:
- You’ll boost brain reserve.Learning helps increase brain reserve, also known as “cognitive reserve.” This reserve is thought to be an extra helping of “brain power” and protects the brain against age-related disease and stress. You can either add to it or deplete it throughout your life. Learning enhances this reserve and helps to strengthen brain function.
- Learning enhances neuroplasticity.Neurons can grow new connections and reorganize according to our experiences and learning, in other words, our brains have plasticity. Imaging studies have revealed functional connectivity changes as well as structural changes in the brain due to enhanced neuroplasticity.
- You’ll have an all-star resume and many interview talking points. Nothing is more pleasing to a hiring manager when they look at a resume and see continued education and continued personal development. Even if you’ve reached the pinnacle of your career, you should never stop learning. The milestones you’ve accomplished can serve as talking points during an interview, allowing you to display your diverse knowledge and deliver intriguing accomplishment stories.
- You’ll grow your network by meeting new people.This alone will keep you healthy, as studies show that people who are socially connected and engaged with others actually live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Networking gives you a space to meet other people and learn about the value they offer, helps you present your personal brand, and can help make career transitions easy and painless. Engage people by telling them what inspired you to take a class or learn a new technical skill and meet people with similar skill sets and discuss industry developments.
- It’s super simple.Being a lifelong learner doesn’t mean earning degrees left and right, it means learning practical concepts, technologies, and ideas that will keep you fresh. This can be anything from learning a new computer language to advance your IT career or attending a photography class to enrich your creative side. A lot of companies provide internal training classes related to personal development and you should take advantage of this whenever possible-no matter where you are in your career. Enhancing your brain’s neuroplasticity and demonstrating your ability to be a self-starter can be achieved in everyday learning.
When we learn we strengthen confidence, emotional intelligence, and resilience – all qualities of top performers and successful people. Lifelong learners are motivated and effective people who often serve as great leaders and mentors. Whether it’s a master’s degree, a dance class, a best-selling book on expert sales strategies, a free online social media tutorial or a new exercise technique, there’s nothing better for your career and your health than a consistent dose of learning.
Written By Nicole Pica