Reach your goals faster – 5 steps to a personal learning plan

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Many of us go to school for 15 years for post-secondary studies. In today’s competitive and fast-paced world, what you learned in university may not be enough. Watch this video from the Quebec Association for Lifelong Learning to know why you continuous learning:

The illiterate of the 20th century are not those who cannot read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Alvin Toffler

“Lifelong learning your way” by the Quebec Association for Lifelong Learning.

We need lifelong learning because:

  • People are living longer. We need to use our minds and learn new skills to continue living productive lives beyond our 80s.
  • We have new technologies at a faster rate. We need to have new skills and learn to think differently to keep up with change.
  • We can expect six to seven career changes in our lives. Jobs are not for life anymore. Careers are constantly changing.
  • We can expect life transitions. We should be open to re-inventing ourselves.

It’s a good thing that learning is easier because getting information is much faster today. You can choose from many learning options.

  • Formal – Learning in schools or technical training.
  • Non-formal – Learning outside the school. For example through online courses, seminars from community organizations or libraries, workshops and conferences, etc.
  • Informal – Learning from everyday experiences.

Having a personal learning plan is important to maximize these options. It also helps you reach your learning goals faster. Here are five steps to starting a personal learning plan:

  1. Do a self-assessment

    Know your skills, values and learning style. Read the article Self-assessment: Your first step to success to know how to do a complete assessment.

  2. Study your ideal career path

    Look at the job description of the job you want to get (or be promoted to). Know the skills and qualifications needed for that job.

  3. Compare your skills to the skills needed for your goal

    Make a list of your skills based on your self-assessment (#1). Compare them to the skills needed for the job you want (#2). Find out which skills you are missing. Plan to study and train to have those skills.

  4. Make an action plan

    Write down what you need to achieve. Use action statements. Be detailed. It may look like this:

    Action plan: Improve my English

    • Join online class with English Online – January 2, 2020
    • Volunteer at the community center – March-June, 2020
    • Read one book every two weeks – Starting January, 2020
  6. Make your plan SMART

    Your plan must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic (or Relevant) and Time-bound. It must have as much detail as possible. Set each activity within reasonable time limits.

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