Learning new skills is essential to advancing your career. It diversifies your job options and helps you develop new techniques to keep up with the fast-changing world. But there are other benefits, too. Here are five benefits of learning new skills—no matter your age or profession, or type of skill you learn.
1. It keeps you healthy
Learning keeps your mind engaged and body active. It helps you get new and knowledge-based perspectives on the world around you. It helps you gain new experiences, trains your brain to handle a wide range of challenges, and keeps your neural pathways active. All these factors combine to keep you healthy. Take, for example, a cooking class. Cooking nutritious food for your household can improve your (and your family’s) health. And because a healthy person is a productive person, the class will have helped you increase your productivity at work.
Learning is also exciting and rewarding, so it can be therapeutic for a troubled mind. It helps discover your unknown potentials, so you stop beating yourself up for failing in one career path. Growing your skillset helps you realize how useful you are to lots of people, and that makes you happy and mentally healthy.
2. It opens doors
When you learn a new language, doors open for you to work in different types of companies (that need dual-language speakers), not to mention overseas. When you learn to program, you stand a better chance of getting a promotion. When you learn how to play an instrument, you open up a new income stream. When you learn how to design websites, write essays, or perform virtual secretary skills, you become eligible for part-time freelance opportunities. Whichever new skill you acquire, a new door of opportunity will always open for you. New streams of income are very important, especially now that most economies of the world are facing financial hardships. It’s also important to earn extra money to save income for retirement.
3. It increases your adaptability
Many employees struggle at work when a new CEO comes in, or when radical changes are made to their routine roles. This is where new skills can come in handy. For example, if you take a time management course, you’ll have more time and room to help you adapt to change. Time management training will also help you take on new ways of working with optimism. Also, note that the willingness to learn new skills increases your confidence and nurtures a growth mindset. That helps you grow as a person and a professional.
4. It increases your likability
If you know how to repair broken printers or format a computer, everyone at the office will want to be your friend. If you know a foreign language, you’ll naturally draw others to you. Knowing something that other people don’t helps you to relate better with your colleagues at work. It also helps you gain respect and admiration among your peers. And it can increase your chances of getting hired. When you get the interview question, “Tell me something not on your resume,” you’ll have many things to talk about if you’ve recently learned new skills.
5. It keeps you relevant
Professional development makes you relevant even when new graduates join your profession. You need to keep up to date with technological changes otherwise your employer will replace you at the first chance they get. Note that the labor market is constantly changing, the economy keeps evolving, and technological advances are sweeping through all sectors of the economy. You’ll find it hard to achieve your career goals without continuing to learn and flexing your professional muscles. You won’t be able to stay ahead of competitors without learning something they haven’t.
A final note
These days, expanding your knowledge and skill base is more requirement than choice. If you don’t know what to study or which learning opportunities are at your disposal, try looking into the things you're curious about. Ask yourself, “What have I been interested in or passionate about since childhood?” Answer that and you’ll discover the learning journey you should pursue. You’ll also discover immeasurable satisfaction in learning. Whether for hobby or career purposes, learning brings joy and satisfaction, regardless of age or professional standing.
Albin Morgan is a young and ambitious career specialist who has been helping people with personal and professional development for the past three years. He usually helps individuals evaluate their backgrounds, curiosities, passions, and training so they can choose a job, business, or type of further education that helps them be successful and fulfilled.