The Many Benefits of Lifelong Learning

 Marketing Director   September 13, 2022  Career Advice

Higher Ed professional showing commitment to lifelong learning by taking a class

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there is always room to grow and learn new things. Things I’ve worked on learning as an adult include swimming, yoga, Spanish and Chinese languages, cooking, meditation, and substantive professional development courses on legal and regulatory frameworks, creative writing, professional writing, and conflict resolution.

What, if anything, connects these disparate subjects? They include passions, aspirations, and stepping stones to achievement and expression of personal and professional goals and values. 

Why pursue a lifelong learning approach?

The pursuit of lifelong learning taps into a human desire for inspiration and activities that challenge us and provide new vistas for personal growth.

Career Development and Resilience

If you are thinking about moving into a new area of work or transitioning to a new career focus, taking a course in a related skill or subject area can be helpful both to a) signal to future employers your seriousness and commitment to transition and b) develop your hard (or soft) skills in support of that ultimate goal.

Gain a Sense of Accomplishment

Whether the focus is on a career- or otherwise life-enhancing skill, the process of learning, dealing with challenges, and getting better at something can feed one’s sense of accomplishment. The process of skills development builds self-confidence, which supports personal growth and enhances one’s overall experience of life.

Develop Your Social Network

Engaging in new learning experiences, whether through one-time workshops or a more intensive course with multiple sessions, brings contact with new people that share an interest. This creates wonderful opportunities to both learn from others and to share what you know with a likely warm audience.

In addition, many job seekers learn about open positions and/or job-related resources through informal networking. Opportunities to learn together with a cohort can enlarge your social network among like-minded people. For those who shudder at the thought of networking as a stressful experience fraught with inauthenticity, engaging in meaningful learning experiences can allow for meeting new people in a more relaxed environment. 

Find Meaning and Purpose in Your Life

Many people who’ve gotten deeply into a practice requiring an intense period of learning will tell you that it demands focus, intention, and commitment to grow skills. Although at times challenging to create space in one’s life for such learning, many later describe a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose that such a commitment can bring to one’s life.

How to Tap into a Lifelong Learning Philosophy

This approach can encompass learning in formal settings like taking classes and workshops or more informal settings, such as volunteering. In a time when household budgets face increased financial pressure, you may wish to start small–a class rather than a whole degree or certificate program.

Try looking at local community college programs and nearby universities or other educational institutions for courses that excite or intrigue you. In my own experience, I have had quality language instruction in local community colleges, and friends have taken courses in a variety of subjects, including coding, graphic design, and podcasting.  

Keep in mind that there are many outlets for your interest. Ask friends with similar interests for recommendations. If you need to expand your reach to more resources, try looking for groups that share your interests on social media or community groups on sites like, which advertise events created by community members and organizers throughout the country. You might also try the remote learning offerings at sites such as Udemy, Udacity, and Coursera.

Check out more Top Articles on HERC Jobs.

About the Author: Shirley Huey, J.D., is a consultant providing research, writing, and strategic development assistance to organizational clients. Her experience includes service on academic and professional hiring, diversity, and professional development committees as well as coaching peers and mentees. She is also a freelance writer, with a focus on her passions: food and culture.