Schools Training

Why Continuing Education is the Key to a Great Career

17 MAY 2012
Career Path : Continuing Education

While many people equate success with the ability to make a lot of money, others spend much time and dedication making sure they are happy with their work. For them, it’s not so much the possibility of failure that is frightening. What’s really terrifying is the prospect of sheer boredom.

One of the best nuggets of wisdom ever passed down is to make sure you love your job. This piece of advice isn’t so much about career options as it is about quality of life. The truth of the matter is that whatever we choose as careers will wind up consuming the better part of our day. The standard North American job demands forty hours of labour per week. If we assume that the average person gets seven hours of sleep per night, that means our jobs take up almost half of our total number of waking hours (not including transit time). So, if you’re spending half of your waking life at work, you most definitely need to make sure that you are enjoying what you are doing.

How much we enjoy our work is dependent on a lot of factors, including age. Our 20’s are when we explore our career options. We spend most of the decade making decisions (and then changing our minds), making mistakes (and then making them again), all in an attempt to figure out what we really want to do with our lives.

Then come the 30’s, which, given that we at least have an idea of what it is we want to do, is spent making our mark actually doing it. We move up and down the industry ladders, we take leaps, and we work on projects that perhaps we never intended to way back when. Needless to say, there is still a level of spontaneity that gives a dose of excitement to the job.

But by the time we hit 40, I can only assume things will become quite, well …redundant. After spending a certain amount of time doing something, the task at hand will eventually become habitual, and whatever it was that drew you into the craft to begin with will be long forgotten.

This timeline isn’t anywhere close to being concrete, nor does it hold true for any specific industry. But, we all know that humans are creatures of habit, so we all run the risk of falling into a boring work routine.

So, what’s the secret to a great career? Well, it all comes down to staying on your toes. To avoid the risk of becoming completely bored of your job, you need to ensure that you are constantly being challenged. The best way to do this is to keep learning new facets of your industry.

Something as simple as enrolling in a Continuing Education course or program will help you make sure that you’re keeping up and staying sharp. A huge plus is that most universities and colleges offer online learning and distance education, which makes it a lot easier for full-time workers to be able to add a course into their already hectic schedules. Also, Continuing Education departments tend to offer courses that appeal to a lot of different industries, including:

  • Business
  • Creative & Visual Arts
  • Engineering Technology
  • Health Sciences
  • Human Services
  • Languages & Communications
  • Math/Statistics

For some, the idea of going back into school may seem daunting. But if you’ve done all you could do as a chef, or a lawyer or an engineer or a teacher, or whatever it is that you’ve dedicated your days to, then it is time to do yourself a favor and learn something new.