Climb the Ladder

How to Continue Your Creative Education After Schooling

Have you ever felt stuck in your current role or place in life? Do you desire to expand your skillset, or take on a new hobby, like creative writing? The good news for creative types is that there are plenty of ways to continue your creative education long after your formal one has ended, regardless of age or experience level. 

No matter the form it takes, from attending industry conferences to hiring a foreign language tutor, furthering your education comes with numerous personal and professional benefits. For starters, learning new things is great for your brain. Research indicates that gaining new knowledge and/or skills can improve brain function, cognition, and memory over time. 

Education has also been shown to boost creativity, which is encouraging news for creative types striving to become lifelong learners. Here’s what you need to know about how to take the leap towards lifelong learning, by widening your scope at work, prioritizing personal enrichment activities, and beyond. 

The Myriad Benefits of Learning New Things

As previously mentioned, learning new things can improve brain health, but the benefits don’t end there. The simple act of learning can also make you happier and more self-confident. Further, the lifelong learning journey helps foster communication with people from all walks of life, expanding your horizons in the process. 

Where your career is concerned, learning new techniques and skills can open doors that were previously shut, allowing you to climb the ranks at a faster pace than your peers. The skills and knowledge you acquire as a lifelong learner makes for impressive features on your resume. Recruiters looking to employ top creative talent typically prefer candidates with a well-rounded skill set that encompasses a variety of interests. During the recruitment and interview process, your passion for learning can take you far, and may even serve you well when pursuing future job opportunities. 

Change Up Your Workplace

Speaking of work, few things can stifle our creativity as much as an unfulfilling job, making the workplace an ideal starting point on your journey towards lifelong learning. Perhaps it’s time for a career change, or maybe you’re ready to pursue an advanced degree in another industry altogether. In any case, diversifying your job responsibilities can help stave off boredom and keep those creative juices flowing.

You don’t need to switch careers to shake things up at work, however. One actionable way to continue learning while still pursuing your career is by taking on more responsibility. According to Wisconsin Lutheran College, expanding your role at work offers you the opportunity to learn from different people in a wide array of positions, broadening your perspective as you grow your skills. 

Yet as you climb the ladder at work, make sure that you don’t take on more than you can handle. Creative burnout is an unfortunate (and common) side effect of overworking, so it’s important to strike a good balance when taking on additional work-related tasks. Some creative types may opt to skip out on the traditional workplace altogether, at least for a short time anyway, often pursuing more adventurous learning opportunities. 

Seek Out Personal Enrichment Opportunities

For those with a passion for learning, the educational experience can take many forms. It may surprise you to discover that learning doesn’t have to involve seminars or classrooms — indeed, lifelong learners are continuously seeking out new experiences and learning environments, sometimes in faraway locations. Reports indicate that travel can improve your creativity while providing a mental “reset” of sorts, as you experience new places and cultures.  

When you’re traveling for personal enrichment and learning opportunities, make sure to document as much as possible. Consider keeping a trip journal or scrapbook, and take photos of significant places you visit and the inspirational people you meet. No matter if your travels take you to a remote fishing village or a vibrant, bustling city on the other side of the world, traveling has the power to change the way we think. 

In this way, traveling is an exciting option for lifelong learners who want to get out of their comfort zone. For the greatest benefit, creative types should try to live like a local, no matter where they land. Patronize local hotspots, rather than destinations that are popular with tourists, to get a better feel of a particular place, and try to incorporate those feelings into future creative projects.

When traveling, you can also expand your creative horizons by enrolling in a class or seminar with a localized theme, such as winemaking, regional history, or bird watching. Even if travel isn’t in the cards for you, aspiring lifelong learners may be able to find similar opportunities closer to home. 

Key Takeaways

For the lifelong learner, enrichment opportunities can be found all around us, from mundane office cubicles to open-air villas and engaging virtual seminars. Lifelong learning starts by embracing the opportunities that come your way and straying out of your comfort zone.

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