Continuous Learning Is a Lifelong, Interactive Process
Blog by Jatta Kupias
Continuous learning does not mean getting more university grades, but finding something new from the life around you.
My parents who were born far before the Second World War could not go to school for many years, the had to go working. However, they learnt a lot of things and became masters in their work. For learning more they utilized libraries, labor unions, the silent knowledge of older colleagues, voluntary night classes and many other places I do not even know of.
Nowadays everybody can get higher education, and different qualification and development courses, as well as happy life retreats are offered in every possible channel. How much do we really need them? To be honest, at least I am more than slightly anxious with everything I could – or as my mind says – should do.
On my humble career the work itself has always been the best teacher. Education, of course, gives you some basic information and readiness to learn more, but not even the best university can prepare you to meet requirements or different working cultures of the work places you go. Thus – I dare to say – the healthy self-knowledge, curiosity and agility (and sometimes also the ability to give up) are the best professors in respect of learning.
Use the information when it is offered to you! Like my parents, we can still learn a lot from our more experienced colleagues, not forgetting that we can also teach them some skills, as learning is an interactive process. A good boss is a stroke of luck: when you get challenging duties, responsibility and, in the best case, feedback, you learn a lot not even noticing it. And as a master of your own job you also know where you need improvement.
On the other hand, sometimes your fellow workers teach you lot of patience and tolerance – what could be better tools for life?
Should the career always go up? If I was asked this 20 years ago, I’d probably say “yes”. At the moment I definitely think, that of course not!!! By time, we learn that learning is an endless process and even though we cannot control everything that happens to us, we can always choose our values.
When continuously looking for more responsibility, larger organisation or bigger boots, you automatically need to give up something, which can be very valuable. Sometimes, from the life’s point of view, the best solution is to downgrade from a director to a specialist or from the team leader to a nurse – the career of a burned-out general manager can end in a sad and disastrous way.
To close with, there is one thing I try to remember – and warmly recommend also to others to bear in mind: good enough – IS GOOD ENOUGH!