Many people assume that skill development is age sensitive and only applies to those starting their career or looking for promotion. This is really not the case. It’s always a good idea to nurture your skills relevant to your chosen career – if not just to keep you ahead of the game but also to keep your mind active and sharp.
In fact as an older student, you’ll have some definite advantages over your younger counterparts. There is no proof that says older learners are better than younger students but those who take further study later in life, do so under a different set of circumstances that force them to be more efficient in their studies.
1. You know what you want – making a choice to learn rather than feeling like it is expected, makes a very big difference to your outlook. Just knowing that learning is what you want makes it easier to motivate yourself through challenging times. If you have chosen a course which you want to do rather than being told to do, you are much more likely to do well and succeed.
2. You have technology on your side – Thanks to the internet and powerful computer software learning and gaining information is far more accessible. Technology has enabled study to be flexible. If you don’t want to step into a classroom and want to study online after the kids have gone to bed – so be it. Blended learning may also suit you so that you can continue to work and enjoy your family life around your studying.
3. You have better time management skills – whether you realise it or not your time management skills are far better later in life than when you were younger. It was very easy to waste time when you didn’t have a job, a home to maintain and a family to take care of. You will manage your study time to fit in and around your life.
4. You are more disciplined – look at what you have accomplished so far in life –whether it has been graduation, a career, a family – you know what you can achieve. You have far more discipline than when you were a teenager. If you really want to learn something new – you can!
5. You have valuable networking skills – if you want to take on further study to help make a career change, being a mature student means you can utilise valuable interpersonal skills you’ve learned on the job to better your chances of landing a new role. You may be better at networking and will therefore use contacts you meet during your training to help you with your career change or promotion.
6. You have more support from your peers/colleagues – Your fellow students are probably all in the same mind set and your family realise the importance of your self development.
7. You’ve had more time to learn from your mistakes – You’ve had longer to realise where you went wrong in the past. This is itself, makes you more determined to succeed with your studies.
8. You are more awesome now than you have ever been before! You have more experience, more knowledge and more wisdom than you did when you were younger. You know who you are and what you want.
You don’t have to do it by yourself – many employers are keen to see their employees flourish and are usually very accommodating if you show eagerness to learn. After all, your new skills will help you to help them!