The other day I received an interesting call from my Dad, who is 85 years old. He told me he and my Mom had been talking and they decided it’s time to get their first computer. He asked for my advice on what to buy and where to buy it and thankfully I was able to enlist my daughter’s help. She lives close to my parents in Vancouver and was able to assist with shopping and the learning process. I am thankful that my parents are committed to lifelong learning and it’s proof you’re never too old to exercise your mind.
One of the things that sets job candidates apart from one another is the extent to which they are involved in lifelong learning. Simply put, people who are continuously interested in learning and upgrading their skills are often selected for jobs over those who demonstrate little or no interest. I’ve had many discussions with clients who emphasize that this can be the differentiator in their final interviewing process. Volumes of research suggest that lifelong learning keeps our minds substantially more engaged, leading to greater success in every endeavour we pursue. Whether it’s taking a course, reading on topics of interest, or learning new skills, each one can contribute to opportunities within the job market even if it’s unrelated to a particular career. Last fall I took a creative writing course. It had been many years since I sat in a classroom and it was definitely challenging at times, but when it was all said and done I truly enjoyed the experience and benefited from it.
Many of us set aside significant time for physical exercise and enjoy the lifelong benefits. I encourage you to take some time to think about mental exercise as well. It’s equally important, very rewarding and has long-lasting impact. I’m looking forward to my first email from my Mom and Dad!