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What to do to Become a Lifelong Learner

A continuous learner mindset is something any employer would love their employee to have. The trait is contagious and can drastically impact the trajectory of success if employees adopt the role of lifelong learner. You might call yourself a lifelong learner, you might be far from it, or you might fall somewhere in between, but regardless, there are 8 action steps you need to take to embrace a continuous learner mindset.

Stay Committed

The hunger to always be learning takes discipline. You’ll need to dedicate a certain amount of time to educating yourself and improving your skills. Take the step to schedule that time into your calendar and commit to doing it.

Remain Focused

Being a continuous learner takes more than discipline. It also takes focus. As a society, we are always reachable thanks to technology, and with that comes numerous notification interruptions. Avoid the temptation to multitask when you’re in learning mode. Instead, focus on learning when it’s happening. So, if you need to turn off the red circles on your phone, do so.

Stay Organized

How would classes go if a teacher came into the school day without a lesson plan? It would be hard for any student to learn if there wasn’t a teaching plan in place. You need to create this for yourself. Put something in place that gives you direction when it comes to what you are focusing on. If you need specific tools or resources, make sure they are in hand when you’re educating yourself.

Develop Mindset

Self-talk is a big part of developing a learner’s mindset. Saying “I can” or “I will” instead of “I can’t” or “I won’t” makes a big difference. Self-talk is key to building the confidence to do something and eliminating negative thoughts. Take on the challenges and growing pains that come with change and development, talk yourself up in the process, and understand that you’re going to need to put in the effort to improve yourself.

Take Responsibility

It’s your career and your future. Hold yourself and your actions accountable. Don’t make excuses for past situations, the industry you’re in, or the job market itself. You have the power to make decisions and changes outside of what’s happened previously or what’s happening present day. Own it and create the path you want.

Stretch Expectations

We all fall into comfort zones at different points in our careers but staying in that mindset for too long can lead to career stagnancy. Make sure the goals you’re setting for yourself match your abilities and your potential. It might be nice to slide into career contentment when you earn a job you feel comfortable in but ask yourself if that’s the real end goal you can accomplish.

Follow Passions

Are you truly passionate about what you are doing? If not, figure out where your true passions lie and what the next step is to incorporate them into your career life. This process can be scary, especially if you’re someone who leaves a very stable position to pursue your passion. What is meaningful to you and gives you that fulfilling adrenaline rush? Find value in what you do and learn the additional skills needed to excel in it.

When it comes to providing value, there’s nothing more valuable than educating yourself and learning how to do your job best or reach that next step in your career most successfully.

How important do you think being a lifelong learner is when it comes to your career? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out 5 Ways to Reduce Stress from Job Search.