No such thing as too much education
If you're reading this, then Dec. 21, 2012, has come and gone and the end of the world as predicted by the Mayans has not come to pass. Yay!
While it has been interesting to contemplate the end of the world at this highly publicized time, my understanding is that the Mayans did not believe that the world would cease to exist. Their long-count calendar apparently does end at 21/12/12, but this simply signifies the end of a World Time. Their calendar then resets to 00/00/00, and a new World Age begins. They did not predict what this new World Age would look like.
So, for those folks who made no future plans, based on the remote chance that such plans would be futile, you can now rejoice. The world will keep turning and life as we know it will continue. Given a new World Age, what will you do with it?
Some people like to make New Year's resolutions and they put forth a good effort to make good on them. I've never been much of a fan of such resolutions, mostly because I'm not very good at sticking to them. With a new World Age looming in front of us, it does seem appropriate that change is in order. What will you change?
Education. You knew I was going to say that, didn't you? Well, I guess I pretty much have to say that since my writings are about education and learning. The fact is that there is no such thing as too much education. Even though I have a pretty good education, there is a lot more out there that I have to learn about. The funny thing about a higher education is that the farther you go up this ladder, you learn more and more about less and less. Feel free to ask me about that sometime.
Acquiring more education is a good way to initiate change in your life. While education for education's sake alone is always worthwhile, as adults we have limited time and financial resources to commit to this cause. It is important then to plan and to budget for this. Instead of thinking first about what course you will take and where you will take it, think about where you want an improved education to take you. It may be that you want to advance in the company you already work for, or perhaps you want a complete change of vocation.
I know a very successful public school teacher who, after this work had begun to pale for him, re-trained as a welder and worked for many years in this trade. Ultimately, he returned to teaching. The point is that taking on new training and new work can be stimulating, and even if it does not permanently change your career path, it will present you with a new challenge and new excitement. Should you eventually return to your original line of work, you'll have a new perspective and a new appreciation for that work.
I've walked that walk. For six months, in 1997, I stepped away from the field of education and I took a job as a car salesman with Westport Chrysler Dodge, located on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. On the job, I completed in-house sales training as well as Sandler sales training off-site, paid for by the company. The end of this story is that I had a whole lot of fun, but I didn't make much money. Of course, money is not everything. I did come away with a great new experience. An additional unexpected benefit from that job was that as I returned to education, specifically adult education, the sales training that I received gave me a wonderful new skill set that most of my educational colleagues around the province do not have. These days, I use my sales training not to sell cars, but to sell ideas, and that is a powerful thing.
As the New Year and the new World Age begins, I challenge to you to take on new education, training or experiences. Your life will be much richer for it. You know what, I'll join you in taking up that challenge. I could use a new experience myself. Potential future employers, give me a call.
Rob MacLellan is an advocate of adult education, a professional educator, and a resident of Alton. He looks forward to the New World Age. He can be reached by phone at 673-3269 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.