June 30, 2020
Why You Should Seriously Consider Going Back to School as a Veteran Professional
Here are two facts of life: One, learning is a continuous process. Two, you’re never too old to go back to school.
Indeed, there shouldn’t be an end to learning, even if you have years of substantial experience going for you as a professional. And do not be afraid to go back to school because of your age. After all, school is no longer what it used to be. The development of digital technology has not only made education more accessible but more affordable and convenient work into a hectic life as well.
If you are a seasoned professional looking to improve yourself, going back to school is a smart thing to do. Anybody will tell you that you only have everything to gain from choosing to do so. Not only will this secure your competitive advantage, but it can enrich your life outside of work as well. How?
1. Going back to school will improve your ability to learn.
The notion that learning gets harder as you get older is not true. What’s true, however, is that routines can dull the desire to learn. And this is what normally happens to veteran professionals, even if they frequently deal with new challenges at work.
The scope of their learning pursuits becomes smaller because of the defined and focused demands of their job. And while the concerns and issues may be unfamiliar most of the time, they are all solved to produce standard results. Therefore, the learning muscle doesn’t get worked to its full potential, which is intellectually and professionally comfortable, but usually is what leads to a rut.
One of the best ways to get out of that learning rut is to go back to school for a course that may or may not necessarily have anything to do with your career. This is an excellent way to get out of your comfort zone, tap into a different side of your brain, and improve your ability to process new information. With this, you will not only become a better problem-solver, but you’ll be a more dynamic repository of useful knowledge as well.
2. Technology is changing the way things are done.
Going back to school will also prepare you for the fast changes in technology. There are learning institutions, such as the Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Dubai, that specialize in the latest technological provisions (programs, as well as, devices) that change the way operations are carried out in various industries.
Signing up for these school courses will ensure you are as up to date with technological advancements as possible, and you will not be a liability to the company you serve as it continues to move forward with new digital methods and programs.
It’s worth pointing out as well that in the unfortunate event of downsizing operations especially during a global economic recession, your robust knowledge and more years in service will be your competitive edge. Most companies are likelier to keep employees that can bring efficiency to operations with their diverse skills set and industry experience. Therefore, you have a stronger fighting chance at being kept.
3. Going back to school creates balance.
While it may not seem too smart to do more when you’re already dealing with work and home demands, going back to school, despite those, often proves to be a huge benefit for a balanced existence.
According to an expert on informal schooling for adults in Asia, going back to school to learn something that’s not work-related, perhaps a long-time interest, is an opportunity to unwind for veteran professionals. If the class is for an interest such as a foreign language or developing coaching skills, the best benefit is getting this feeling of a dimming fire suddenly going ablaze.
This has been depicted well in the movie “Shall We Dance?” with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. A man who was feeling bored with his successful career and beautiful family signed up for a dance class. The decision improved not only his stress levels but also reinvigorated his career and relationship with his family.
There’s no denying that burnout is real for long-time professionals and going back to school can work as an effective way to manage it.
4. It is key to advancing in your career.
Going back to school is one of the most reliable ways for improvement. You can learn a valuable skill or develop qualities required in your field of work or a new position that you’re eyeing in your company. Say, you want to branch out and start heading important projects, enrolling in project management courses will equip you for the position.
On top of that, the decision to go back to school will indicate to the higher-ups in your company that you are flexible – as flexible as the younger eager beavers in the workforce.
Additionally, there are high company positions that pay more and come with better benefits, which are often limited to employees who have a certain level of educational attainment. Going back to school is the only thing to do to be eligible for them.
5. It will set a good example for your subordinates.
If you hold your position with great accountability or responsibility, you can establish yourself as a real authority figure and example by demonstrating a strong culture of learning.
Going back to school can encourage them to live with a mindset that they can’t rest on their laurels, and they should work to better themselves continuously.
If you are a parent, the decision to go back to school will also convey the message to your children that everything is possible, and in the words of George Eliot, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
There’s no denying that going back to school when you’re much older can be scary but there truly is nothing much to worry about. As mentioned earlier, schooling and education have changed immensely over the years. Just focus on learning and being better be it for your career or personal reasons. So, what are you keen on learning and going back to school for?
Jerrin Samuel is the Executive Director at Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Abu Dhabi. Since 1995, REI has been at the forefront of education by delivering quality corporate training courses in the UAE, helping many businesses and organizations achieve greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction levels.