The working landscape is changing at a speed never seen before.
Artificial intelligence looms large, competition is accelerating, and uncertainty runs rampant – leaving many returners wondering and worrying about what this could mean for their career as they re-enter the workplace.
This new world demands adaptability, continuous development, and a mastery of new skills. Are returners destined to be left behind? Could lifelong learning be the answer?
Modern career paths can often feel like endless conveyor belts, where you need to keep moving and learning to remain agile, competitive and relevant.
But what happens when you step off the conveyor belt?
Many returners looking to re-enter the workplace may feel powerless or fearful that their existing skillset is outdated or, worse, irrelevant.
Lifelong learning can help reclaim power – allowing returners to enrich existing skillsets, unlock new opportunities and regain control of their return-to-work career path.
Lack of flexibility, high cost and significant time commitments can deter many returners from leaping towards learning something new.
The good news is that the way we view education is shifting.
The quest for knowledge no longer needs to end in the classroom or even after you’ve donned the tassel and gown.
Knowledge is now at everyone’s fingertips, and learning can take many new and flexible forms. From evening classes at a local college to bite-sized online courses, you can build your skillset in a way that fits your lifestyle.
Unlike traditional learning confined to the classroom, continuous learning is never “complete”. Lifelong learning is for everyone and promotes learning at any age.
In 2015, Californian Doreetha Daniels received her associate degree in social sciences. But Doreetha wasn’t a typical student. She was 99 years old.
When it comes to learning, there are no full stops, only commas.
Doreetha demonstrates that, regardless of your age, career status or educational background, it’s never too late to learn something new.
Those who have the greatest career success are, by and large, lifelong learners. Entrepreneur Elon Musk grew up reading two books per day, Bill Gates enjoyed 2-week-long reading vacations, and investor Warren Buffet dedicated 80% of his time to reading and thinking.
The evidence is loud and clear: Lifelong learning is the most valuable investment we can make for return-to-work success. Whether you’re upskilling to re-enter the workplace or pursue new opportunities, continuous learning can help you take ownership of your career path and promote an empowered route back to work.
At Back to Work Connect, our mission is to empower and support women ready to re-enter the workforce. Through training, resources & our online career portal, we aim to empower Returners with a supported route back to their careers and inspire employers to create a returner-friendly work environment. Learn more about our work at backtoworkconnect.ie