May 10, 2019

Make reskilling and lifelong learning part of your success

The reality of our modern world is that no matter how talented the people in your organization are at this very moment, or how many great training and development programmes they have attended, most of what they’ve learned could be redundant in just a few years.

Change is inevitable, and in addition to being able to adapt, we must also stay agile as changes accelerate and creates an even bigger impact.

We’re all feeling the pressure, and we’re seeing many organizations working hard to find the best ways to develop their people’s skills to keep up with change. There are many important skills to develop, but the most important one — and an umbrella under which all other skills rest — is the ability to constantly learn.

As organizations and even as individuals, we can’t all expect to become experts in what is trending today, such as AI or machine learning, but we should aim to become constant learners who strive to meet the needs of the future.

Of course, constantly learning and building your skills consumes resources like time and money. But consider it an investment in developing a vitally important quality, which is adaptability to change. That is why we need to be open to learning and reskilling. Here are ways to begin applying it in your life.

First, reskilling is important, but it’s not a one-time thing. This is where a lifelong learning mindset comes in. You don’t stop learning because you think you know it all. In fact, we can never stop learning.

When we refer to learning, it means opening our minds to new and changing content and ideas. Our world moves fast and leaves behind those who refuse to change and adapt. This means we must also continue to learn so we can be adaptable.

Second, expand your horizons and focus on soft skills. When you look at the bigger picture, learning technical and hard skills related to your field is a good thing, but you need to be able to have other skills that allow you to adapt quickly.

Hard skills allow you to get the job done. But without soft skills, you won’t be able to get it done faster and more effectively. Given how important speed has become in our world, you can longer depend on hard skills alone if you want to stay ahead of the crowd.

Third, we must open our options to different ways of learning. Gone are the days when learning happened only in classrooms. Today you can also learn online through videos or learn with your peers through networking. You can also mix and match and adapt the best ways to meet your learning needs.

With that in mind, throw away your misconceptions of learning. Some may genuinely enjoy learning but the majority of us sometimes dread having to take a class, attend work-related training or even go through an online course. Blended learning is a great way to personalize your learning to meet your needs without losing interest.

Fourth, relearning content is just as important as learning new things. As our world continues to unfold, some information may no longer be relevant to what we are doing today, or it may become irrelevant in the near future. Going back and updating your knowledge is important to ensure that you’re up-to-date and ready for the new things our world offers.

Finally, build a learning culture. This may be the most crucial part because unless you nurture a learning culture for yourself or in your organization, lifelong learning and reskilling won’t be sustainable.

You can build on practicing learning and reskilling or apply blended learning to learn more effectively, but if it isn’t sustainable and continuous, sooner or later you will fall back and the changes will catch up with you.

Our future success doesn’t lie in who is the greatest or the smartest. Our future success relies on us being able to flow with change and adapt to volatility. And we can only do this if we constantly learn and constantly reskill ourselves.


Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC (formerly APMGroup) Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at arinya_t@seasiacenter.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/arinya-talerngsri-53b81aa. Experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at https://www.yournextu.com/