CAREER ADVANCEMENT / DEC. 20, 2014
version 3, draft 3

8 Lifelong Learning Skills You Need to Develop

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Learning is no longer necessarily restricted to aspecific place e.g. school, nor has specific time limitations to allow us to acquire knowledge. With Lifelong learning young people and adults can develop their skills throughout their lives through an on-going process of personal and professional development.  

According to the Lifelong Learning framework proposed by the European Commission, there are 8 key competencies that every lifelong learner needs to develop in order to increase their employability, flexibility, adaptability and improve their competiveness within the job market.

So, let’s go over the 8 key competencies each individual should possess:

#1 Communication in the mother tongue

As every job advertisement states “excellent communication skills” are essential towards finding employment. This involves the ability to express and communicate your own opinion, ideas, feelings, and thoughts in both oral and written forms in the mother tongue, including speaking, listening, reading and writing. This shows that you are able to effectively interact and work with other people creatively.

#2 Communication in foreign languages

Except from perfecting your mother tongue and learning how to speak English, you should be able to speak other foreign languages. Did you know that the majority of current European generation is multilingual? Monolingual Europeans are the minority at 46%, and out of 54% of the population, 19% of Europeans are bilingual, 25% are trilingual and 10% speak four or more languages!

As you can see, the European market is highly demanding in terms of linguistics and only those who are able to communicate in various languages will be practically begged to be hired by employers. No wonder many job roles require multilingual workers who can communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds.

#3 Mathematical competence and basic competencies in science and technology

Whatever you choose to do, maths, science and technology are important. Obviously you don’t have to be an expert in Physics for example, you just have to be able to use mathematical logical reasoning into your problem solving skills and be able to understand the impact of science and technology in our lives.

#4 Digital competence

As technology advances rapidly the need to fill the skills gap of digital competency in regards to the new technology-based positions, especially in the fields of Computing and Engineering, is vital. Essentially, this refers to your ability to use computers and more specifically Information and Communication technology (ICT) appropriately, Microsoft packages including Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc. and of course social media.

#5 Learning to learn

 Learning to learn involves adopting the right attitude, self-discipline, motivation and initiative to pursue your goals and become successful. Also, it requires an effective method of planning your own development process that is related to your personal or career needs.   

#6 Social and civic competence

Social and civic competence refers to being a responsible citizen within a society, and effectively participating in society matters as well as being up-to-date with recent developments in the world of employment. Moreover, it requires expressing your interest in social and political concepts such as democracy, equality and civic rights by actively getting involved in volunteering opportunities within your country or around the world.

#7 Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship

As an entrepreneur you should be able to take risks as well as plan and manage projects in order to meet your goals. Also, you have to be able to grasp available opportunities when presented to you and come up with innovative ideas which you can turn into action. Evidently, this includes taking initiatives and managing your time effectively.

#8 Cultural awareness and expression

Being culturally aware refers to understanding and appreciating creativity and expression through all kinds of media and arts, such as: performing and visual arts, music, dance and literature. Possessing this competence allows you to explore alternative ways of thinking and expressing yourself.

The job market is as competitive as ever and acquiring these essential competencies will definitely help you get a competitive advantage! So, how many did you get out of the 8? Leave your comments below.

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