Once December 14, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. appeared, I knew I was finally free. Free from classes, teachers, grades, and anything related to education. After enduring an extra semester as a fifth year senior, I was so excited to be graduating. A year later, I am living in Detroit and working in marketing. Ironically, one of the biggest things I have learned since graduating is that continued learning is the best thing I can do for my future. There are multiple ways to get involved. And here are 3 ways you can:
1. Find out what organizations of interest are in your area and join them.
Sometimes you never know what things are happening until you are officially on the inside. Not all organizations publicly post opportunities for anyone to see. They make sure to treat their members extra special by providing them with exclusive opportunities that aren’t otherwise available.
2. Volunteer for random things.
If you are available and you have an interest in participating, find a way to join it. There are so many events, shows, and services that require volunteers. If it sounds cool, try attending an interest meeting or dragging along some friends. You might end up liking the activity more than you imagined. If so, don’t hesitate to ask how be more involved.
3. Try self teaching.
Nowadays, there are so many free programs online that teach just about anything. In the area of design, there are multiple Adobe tutorials and coding workshops that offers courses efficiently and easily. If you don’t necessary have a project to work on, make up one just for the experience. I found that a few of the things I took the time to create are now going in my portfolio. It helps to give fake projects a real purpose. I can say that my design skills have steadily progressed and so has my confidence.
Now that you know how to continue learning, here is why:
4. You actually learn something.
No one ever said that you automatically stop learning once you get the degree. However it’s important to know that the rate at which you learn is entirely up to you. You have the ability now to hold yourself accountable, and measure where you would like to be in the future. The first step in that is understanding that there’s still so much to learn. There are countless resources that provide young professionals with the opportunity to grow in their field. If there is something that you are particularly interested in that you cannot seem to find, don’t hesitate to enroll in a couple of college courses again. If it is something you are truly passionate about, it will pay off.
5. Networking grows your opportunities.
As we’ve all heard time and time again, business is about who you know. Therefore, attending sessions can also connect you to people who can help you into your intended future. Not only does it benefit you professionally, it can also grow you personally. By meeting people with similar passions, if opens up conversations of work-like balance and future goals. Another benefit would be finding a mentor or becoming one for longer than the actual session.
6. You figure out what you want to do with your life.
One of the biggest headaches in life is going through the motions because you don’t know what else to do. Many of us graduated without knowing our passions. Some of us graduated assuming we did, then found out we were wrong. How do we fix that problem? By exposing ourselves to options. A benefit of continued learning is that it’s not mandatory, and most of the time its free. There’s no real reason not to try.
Now that you understand why continued learning is so important, dive into the many opportunities out there. Don’t waste time being complacent or behind the curve.