How Continued Learning Is the Key to Success AND Happiness

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For several years, your morning routine went something like this: wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, catch the bus and go to school. And, once you graduated from high school or college, you probably thought to yourself, “I’m so done with all that. I’m never going back to academia.”

Now, though, you might find that you miss the time you spent learning. There’s a good reason for the nostalgia you feel, too. Continuing your education can help you succeed more grandly and can make you happier. Those two benefits alone are enough reason to dive back into studying, even while holding down the life you’ve created for yourself. But if you need even more of a nudge, here’s a little more about just what learning can do for you.

​1. Education Can Make You More Confident

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You never know what life will throw at you. Perhaps you’ve found yourself working in an industry that’s tangentially related to what you did previously or what you studied in college. As such, you might not feel like an expert in your field, which puts a damper on your confidence level in the workplace.

An easy fix to this problem is, of course, education. You’ll learn on the job, but you will be better off studying your new industry on your own or asking for your company to fund your studies in an online class in the subject area. Online learning has grown 21 percent over the last year, mainly because of the convenience and flexibility. You can study on your own time and gradually build up the knowledge you need to feel as though you belong where you’re working.

Once you’re feeling confident in your industry knowledge, you’ll likely be more comfortable and, therefore, happier on the job. This newfound confidence can also drive you to speak up, do more and, ultimately, succeed in the position you have.

2. Education Helps You Reach Higher

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Not everyone is content to remain in the job they hold, nor do they want to succeed in the industry in which they’re currently employed. In that case, education can help you on your way.

Everyone’s definition of “reaching higher” will be different, but continuing your education can help you attain just about any vision that’s playing in your head. For example, a new training course or even a new degree can help you pivot from one industry to another without having to start from the very bottom. Your previous experience and your academic record can help you hop from one position to another with ease.

Continued learning is one of the tried-and-true ways to get a promotion, too. The classes you take might hone your pre-existing skills or update them to today’s standards, thus making you a better candidate for a senior role. Also, the hard work you put into your training will show you’re up for the challenge of a more demanding job. Taking on a critical leadership or management role because of your specialized education will give you more job security, too.

All of this can undoubtedly make you content on the job — 2017’s World Happiness Report showed that workers are happier when they’re making more money and when they’re overcoming challenges in their careers. Reaching higher and charting your course to success through education can help you achieve both of those precursors and the satisfaction that comes with them.

​3. Education Makes You Feel Like You’ve Earned

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It may sound shocking, but many of the most world’s most successful people don’t feel as though they’ve earned their place. Instead, they believe they have fallen into their achievements by pure luck and don’t deserve the fanfare they receive.

This is called impostor syndrome, and there are several different ways it can strike you. Perhaps you don’t feel as though you’ve reached enough of your benchmarks for success, or you might believe that your toughest challenges are a sign of your incompetence.

All of these inclinations are false, and there’s one easy way to prove it to yourself: bulking up on your education. By ensuring that your skills and knowledge are up to today’s standards, you’ll know you have the foundation for the success you’ve earned and that you deserve it because you’re smart and capable.

Having confidence in that can make you feel more secure in your role, which can make you happier in it. In fact, many of America’s happiest places seem to be its most educated areas. Your continued learning could just put your hometown on the map.

Knowledge Is Power

In the end, it all comes to the amount of challenge you face on the job and the satisfaction you feel in overcoming those challenges. Education can help you navigate these obstacles with confidence. And, when it’s no longer rewarding to finish a tough task, your studies can push you into a newer, more challenging role, all the while knowing you’re there because you worked hard and earned it.

That’s why education is a key marker in happiness and success. With that, who knows what will happen next. You can do it all with your knowledge on your side.


sarah

​Sarah Landrum is a millennial career expert and the founder of Punched Clocks. Find Sarah on social media @SarahLandrum and subscribe to her newsletter for more advice on finding career happiness 

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