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Pensions Aspects November/December 2021
15 November 2021

Pensions Aspects November/December 2021

45th year anniversary. Leading the UK’s pensions schemes since 1976.

“What do you want to be when you leave school?” I’m sure that’s a question we’ve all been asked and maybe asked of others. Yet the reality is that very few of us really know what career we want when we’re at school.

Careers are seen more and more not as ‘chosen’ but as being constructed through the various choices about learning and work that people make throughout their lives. Whether we choose a career, fall into it, or construct it, the fact is that no one is born brilliant at their job. Most successful people have been learning and working at their skills for a long time, taking advantage of development opportunities over the entirety of their career: lifelong learning.

Why is lifelong learning important?

The professional world is becoming increasingly competitive and is constantly changing, so lifelong learning is more important than ever in being successful and achieving career goals. 

Technologies and best practices are evolving and progressing in every industry, making it crucial for both new and experienced professionals to continue developing their skills and honing their knowledge. However, the truth is that even before COVID-19, many people generally did not invest in their career development. According to one university study, about a third of professionals say they do nothing to upgrade or improve their current skill set. By planning your education and future career, you already have an advantage on a third of your peers. This ownership means you’re more likely to achieve career growth.

Unfortunately, during the pandemic, many people have put their learning on hold. Yes, we’ve all become more busy and many are struggling to find the time to do their normal day job, but putting your learning on hold could not only be detrimental to your employer and their clients in the short term, but to your career and earning potential in the long term.

What are the benefits of lifelong learning?

Keeping current on industry trends. A commitment to lifelong learning is a great way to stay up-to-date with industry knowledge and trends. Our industry is constantly evolving, so employees should use professional development and training opportunities to learn new practices and techniques, get up to speed with changing regulation and legislation, and embrace new technology.

Expand your knowledge. Whether you’re just entering the profession, or you have decades of experience, lifelong learning can expose you to new ideas, strengthen your knowledge, and increase your expertise. Those seeking out learning opportunities are more likely to benefit than those who don’t. Boost your confidence and credibility. By increasing your expertise, your confidence can grow. You won’t feel you’re missing important skills or knowledge. As you acquire new skill sets and professional designations your credibility can also improve. Many of our learners comment on how their professional education boosts their credibility.

Boost your confidence and credibility. By increasing your expertise, your confidence can grow. You won’t feel you’re missing important skills or knowledge. As you acquire new skill sets and professional designations your credibility can also improve. Many of our learners comment on how their professional education boosts their credibility.

Increasing your earning potential and desirability. It is a fact that lifelong learning offers professionals opportunities to boost their earning potential and attractiveness to employers. Over 90% of respondents in our recent survey said their qualification had earned them a salary increase and/or a promotion. However, there is a trend for many to defer their education. The earlier you get that promotion and pay rise, the better off you’ll be in the longer term.

Growing your network. Many learning opportunities such as workshops, conferences, and other networking events allow professionals to branch out and meet other people who may be able to help with career opportunities in the future. When you decide you want a change or are ready to move up in your career, your professional network can be key.

How can I improve my lifelong learning?

There is no universally correct way to plan career development. A good way to start is with your career goals. Once you have defined these, seek out and take advantage of the learning opportunities that are right for you.

  • Develop a timeline with career milestones and discuss this with your manager at your reviews. 
  • Take advantage of training programs your company offers that you think would be helpful to your career. 
  • Join PMI’s mentoring scheme and learn from someone else’s experience. This can give you an edge over other professionals. 
  • Consider a lateral move to broaden your experience. Having an understanding of, and being able to perform multiple related jobs, can be very helpful as you progress in your career.

Most importantly, have a career plan. A career plan should include your timeline and milestones mentioned above, along with your career goals and how you plan to achieve them.

Most successful people in any industry who are satisfied in their careers proactively planned what they wanted from the beginning. As your career progresses and you gain a better understanding of the industry and what you want from a career, be sure to update your career plan. And remember, we have a range of help, advice and resources, regardless of what stage of your career you’re at.

For more information, please visit the Academy and Knowledge sections of our website.

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Last update: 15 November 2021

Gareth Tancred
Gareth Tancred
PMI
Chief Executive

Head of Pensions, In-house Scheme (Mix of Office and Homeworking)

Salary: £40000 - £75000 pa

Location: Mix of Office (West Midlands) and Homeworking

Pensions Technical & Compliance Specialist, In-house Scheme (3 days office/ 2 days home)

Salary: £40000 - £70000 pa

Location: 3 days office (Central London) and 2 days homeworking

Pension Audit Manager

Salary: £50000 - £70000 pa

Location: Surrey

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