Career progression and lifelong learning

There’s a direct correlation between career progression and lifelong learning.

When you’re a lifelong learner, it means you’ve got the curiosity and drive to never stand still. You want to keep moving forward. Improving. Growing. Expanding. And it’s an admirable quality to have. At Charles Sturt University, we’re all about lifelong learning. Not just in terms of your professional development, but for your personal development too.

But why is lifelong learning important, especially in terms of career development? Let’s find out.

Take your career to the next level

Lifelong learning (and by default, postgrad study) is the key to landing that promotion, pay rise or professional recognition you’ve been striving for. It gives you the tools to be a cut above the rest. You’ll show that you’re determined, focused and disciplined. And employers will feel confident in your abilities and your commitment to your field.

Erin Hollier is part of our Careers and Skills Hub here at Charles Sturt. Here’s what she has to say about the benefits of taking on a postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate study can take your career to the next level by helping you define and inform where you want to go. Building on your current skill set could be the edge you’re looking for to put you above other candidates. It can also help you to boost your skills in the day-to-day practice of your work.”

Become an expert in your field

Postgraduate study can help you take the leap from professional to expert. And who doesn’t want to be known as an expert in their field? Further study allows you to develop advanced skills that undergrad degrees may not provide, as well as the knowledge to tackle larger business issues. These include things like managing staff, dealing with finances and exploring growth opportunities.

Erin has the insider tip on why lifelong learning makes a difference to your career.

“Put simply, you can always get better at what you do. Lifelong learning allows you to improve your practice, learn new things, reflect on the way you do things to be able to apply new skills and theories. Lifelong learning should become a natural part of being a professional in Australia.”

Feel a sense of accomplishment

One underrated aspect of lifelong learning is the sense of accomplishment that comes with it. You’re doing something that is not only going to benefit you and your career, but you’re going to be pretty damn proud of the effort it’s taken to get there. And so you should be! It’s a chance to take stock of where you’ve been – and where you want to go – as Erin knows.

“I often talk about ‘building a résumé’ with students. This is a process that involves understanding the direction that you want to take and filling the gaps in your résumé appropriately to help you get there. Lifelong learning and postgraduate studies are a beautiful way of making a choice and pursuing a pathway that is important to you.”

Take a step in a new direction

Lifelong learning can also be a tool to help change your current career path. You might be working in human resources, but decide that business management is where you want to be. Or you might be looking to pivot a career in communication to one in project management. Postgraduate study can open those doors for you.

Not quite sure how to take that next step into a different area? Here’s Erin’s advice.

“Ask lots of questions! Planning postgrad studies and your career progression are similar. You need to understand what and where you’re starting, and also where you want to end up. Where do you want postgrad studies to take you? Is there a specific career you want to end up in? Are you aiming to broaden your options or move forward from where you are? Understanding where you start from and what you start with will help you plan a specific and smooth journey.”

Can’t stop thinking about career progression?

Humans have a natural drive to explore, learn and grow and to improve our quality of life. You can achieve this by committing to becoming a lifelong learner. Here are a few ideas for your next steps.

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