THE CATALYST: Addressing the 21st Century Workplace Skills Gap through Lifelong Learning

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By Felix C. Veroya

Do you think what you know right now is enough for you to thrive and survive?

Based on a published report by QS on 2018 entitled The Global Skills Gap in the 21st Century, there is average of 25 gap indexes on how professionals perceived the sufficiency of skills they have against how employers are satisfied in relation to the skills. It was found out that the top five (5) most important skills for employers globally are problem solving, team work, communication, adaptability and interpersonal skills.

With this landscape, the question is how to address the skills gap?

We must become a lifelong learner. Lifelong learning is a form of self-initiated education that is focused on personal development. Being a lifelong learner can help us achieve personal fulfillment and satisfaction, recognize human’s nature drive to explore, learn and grow, encourage us to improve our quality of life and sense of self – worth and pays attention to the ideas and goals that inspire us.

In contrary to the common belief, lifelong learning does not only take place inside a classroom. Remember when you learned how to ride a bike or learn how to use your smart phone or play online games? You did not enroll to a formal educational institution to have that. You learned that through either mentoring from a relative or friend, through observation or experiencing it firsthand.

Now, how can you adapt lifelong learning to in your lives just like what I did.

  1. Recognize your own personal interests and goals. I have taken free assessments that can be found online for me to have an idea of my strengths and aligned it with my interests and develop goals around it. I wanted to achieve the highest level of practice in my specialization and achieved it by applying lifelong learning.
  2. Make a list of what you would like to learn or be able to do. The goal I shared in the first step is just one of the many goals I have set. Create a list of your goals and make sure to put weights on which to prioritize. By doing this, you will not be overwhelmed of the things you want to do.
  1. Identify how you would like to get involved and the resources available. There are a lot of resources available – and most of them can be found free. You can watch videos, listen to podcasts, read books and blogs, find a mentors, enroll to e-learning courses and the likes. For my case, I am fond of enrolling to courses and watching tutorial videos and such. The combination of resources will be dependent on your learning style and how you can gain the information you want to acquire about your lifelong learning goals.
  1. Structure the learning goal into your life. Make a structure about your lifelong learning goal. Set a frequency on how to want to do it. I usually a lot an hour or two everyday in doing lifelong learning stuffs mentioned in the previous step.
  1. Make a commitment! Ensure that you execute what you planned else it will just be a waste. Remember, we learn for ourselves, not for someone else.

Lifelong learning took me to places I never knew I can go. I hope that you see the beauty of this skill set and start applying it in your lives and see you in places you wanted to go.

Just like what Albert Einstein said, “Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.”

Let’s continue to be #significantlybetterlifelonglearners, together!

For questions, concerns, advises and speaking engagements, please send an email to fcveroya@asklexph.com or visit asklexph.com/courses for free e-learning courses for professional development.

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