Why Lifelong Learning Should Be Your Lifelong Pursuit
If you are 50 and healthy, you may live another 40+ years. At 60, that is another 30+ yearsMore than any generation that came before you, there is an opportunity for you to have a completely new second career that may last 20 or more years.
In ROAR, there are great examples of many Reimagineers who are doing just that. Marc was a Wall Streeter who went back to school to earn a Master’s in adolescent education and now teaches math in the NYC public school system. Janine went online to do a nurse’s aide course and is now launched into a healthcare career. What do they and all the others have in common?
They have the vision of a second career and they are all lifelong learners. More than ever, there are a multitude of opportunities to study something new. You can earn a degree or get a certificate or take courses on MOOCs (massive open online courses). There is money available for those in midlife (scholarshipowl.com) and in some states, if you are over 60 or have limited income, you are eligible to go to college for free. In short, there are no excuses. Put those Reimagineer caps on.
In my 60’s, I decided to activate my lifelong learning gene by taking on a second master’s degree in nonprofit management/philanthropy at Columbia University. While it was a bit daunting to be back in a classroom with students half my age, I quickly got into the rhythm.
I’ve always been passionate about the nonprofit world and sit on a number of boards, so I wanted to learn more about the sector. It was one of the most stimulating experiences of my adult life and I graduated in 2021 with the degree.
Nonprofit organizations have a great need for seasoned people who can become their executive directors or Presidents. For any experienced manager in their 50’s or 60’s, it’s a great idea for a second career. You don’t need to go get a master’s, just reframe your skill set for the nonprofit world.
Ultimately, what I’ve learned is that we have to be students every day of our lives, whether in a formal or informal way. There is always something new to learn and there is always an opportunity to take those learnings into a new career, regardless of your age. All you have to do is shed your own self-imposed ageism and think about your favorite future.
I’m inspired by Ciro Scala, who went back to earn his college degree in his 70’s and started a new career as a teacher at 80! That’s what I call a major ROAR.
You can read his story here. What’s your lifelong learning plan?