Investing in learning new skills is essential to maintain your relevance, capability, marketability and to ensure your future career success.

From the moment we are born we start learning. It's well known that as children our brains are like sponges soaking up new information, absorbing learning as we experience new things and use our senses to explore these new experiences.

We go through education often progressing into university and professional qualifications and then for some they think phew I've made it! No surprise that after the ordeal of passing the ACA examinations our brains and bodies may need a rest but actually ever changing demands of modern day job roles, advances in technology and an evolving economy means that continuous learning is vital for continued career success.

How learning can benefit your health

Lifelong learning refers to a person of any age keeping the mind and body engaged by actively pursuing knowledge and experiences. Of course learning new skills can make you smarter but it is even shown to be good for your health! It's great brain training - neuroscience is proving just how valuable learning is in keeping our neural pathways active, reducing stress levels and potentially delaying the onset of Alzheimers!

So whether you are learning a new language, learning a new computer system or learning to knit, research suggests that keeping an active brain is as important as keeping an active body so that you can keep performing for longer.

As well as being good for your health and for your career, learning can be exciting and rewarding. Often learning helps you to discover unknown potential that you didn't know you had and allows you to grow your skillset - the old adage of adding ‘another string to your bow.'

How learning can help you at work

Learning can be extremely beneficial in helping you to achieve your career goals.

Here are some of the ways that continuing your learning and professional development can help you:

Be adaptable

Learning helps you become more open to change. By developing a growth mindset and believing you can learn new things you will be more adaptable to the changes happening in your profession and workplace and you will be more willing to take on new ways of working. To find out more about developing a growth mindset, see Carol Dweck's Ted Talk.

Have more options to choose from

It can give you greater choices - having a broader skillset makes you more versatile to transition into different roles and sideways moves to advance your career and potential earnings. It could create a whole new career path too; many people have started learning a new hobby that then ultimately becomes their new career!

Stay relevant

Continuing your learning and professional development in your career keeps you up to date with advances and changes in new technology. This means you won't get left behind as innovation changes ways of working. You will stay relevant in a changing landscape as the economy evolves and technology improves.

Without becoming a learning junkie and attending everything possible it is highly advisable to think about your current and future learning and how this can help you to achieve your career goals and stay ahead of your competitors.

Remember when I talk about learning I don't just mean going on a course! We are fundamentally the same as we were when we were children; we learn most through experience or experiential learning.

As Anthony J D'Angelo says “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow."

Written by: Meg Burton

Meg has over 15 years' extensive experience of delivering and facilitating development training in corporate organisations working with leaders and managers at all levels in a wide range of businesses. Meg is a qualified learning and development professional, qualified MBTI practitioner and Executive Coach. Meg has a warm enthusiastic approach, a passion for learning and a desire to make a difference to individuals.

How CABA can help

CABA's free full day courses take place across the UK. They're open to all past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their husbands, wives, life partners and children under the age of 25.

Or, if you prefer to study online, CABA's free online courses allow you to focus on your personal and professional development wherever you are. You can also find useful information and tips on a range of topics in our help and guides section.

Meg Burton