View your life as a continuous journey for knowledge, a constant pursuit for learning that will widen your horizons whether you’re in the classroom, at work, or gaining experiences elsewhere. The benefits of continuous learning simply can’t be measured—it’s priceless. Continuous learning opens our minds to all the possibilities that can emerge. These possibilities grow more vital over time as we become a more global society—as major demographic shifts occur, especially among baby boomers, health and well-being grows in importance, and we recognize the importance of stewardship of our natural resources.
The workplace will prove so different in the years and decades ahead. There will be opportunities for careers that don’t even exist today. Simply consider that today’s 22-year-olds were born when there was no digital technology to speak of, or debit cards, or hybrid cars, or even lettuce in a bag. Those innovations triggered many new careers that touch technology and access to information. Merely consider how the smartphone has changed our communications landscape.
Futurist Thomas Frey recently envisioned 55 future jobs that don’t exist now, including avatar designers and specialists in social education (think Twitter). While formal education today, perhaps, can’t completely train people for such jobs, continuous learning can help introduce these exciting new avenues in the future to today’s young adults and those choosing new career paths.
This holds true in the health field as well. At Humana, we expect many new health-related occupations to emerge that don’t exist now, such as service providers for centenarians as that cohort grows in number. Again, continuous learning will prepare today’s generation and future ones to hone and maximize their skills, to identify trends and needs, to consider the new avenues that will emerge, and to think outside the box. For many people, it will prompt them to become an entrepreneur rather than pursue a corporate career.
I consider it essential to view your life as a continuous learning experience. The knowledge and insights you gain can trigger new and exciting opportunities.