This page has an average rating of %r out of 5 stars based on a total of %t ratings
Reading Time 8 Minutes Reading Time 8 Minutes
Created on 25.04.2024

Lifelong learning – the professional skills of the future

What skills will be in demand on the labour market of the future, and how can we acquire them? The tool for this is called lifelong learning. This post has valuable insights and tips on how to successfully implement lifelong learning.

At a glance

  • New technologies, new ways of working, new industry trends: the professional world is constantly changing
  • Lifelong learning is the antidote that will prepare us for our professional future
  • New skills are in demand – from digital competence to entrepreneurship
  • There are many ways to learn throughout life: formally in educational institutions, informally in everyday life and at work, on the Internet, in dialogue with others, etc. 

Interested in the latest topics from the world of work? Be sure to stay up to date with the Pioneer newsletter.

Have you learned something new? That’s good, because lifelong learning is important for more than just keeping up with the fast-paced world of work. Through lifelong learning, we can also satisfy our innate curiosity and increase our self-confidence. But what does the term actually mean?

Lifelong learning – a definition

Lifelong learning means independent learning throughout our lives, which we use to further develop our knowledge (expertise), skills and qualifications.

The term is also based on the idea that learning does not simply stop after school, training or university, but that it is up to us to keep learning new things of our own accord – be it a new language, a new computer program, a new recipe, a new sport or a new method of coping with stress.  

Why is lifelong learning so important in the workplace?

New technologies, new working methods, new industry trends: especially in sectors that are developing rapidly, such as technology, healthcare and finance, lifelong learning is crucial if you want to keep up with the job market. Acquiring new skills and deepening your existing knowledge improves your career prospects. Finally, lifelong learning also has a positive impact on your personal development. It broadens horizons, promotes creativity and strengthens self-confidence. Continuous learning is a career booster – regardless of whether you’re aiming for a specialist or management career

How significant is informal learning compared to formal learning?

Formal learning occurs in an institutional setting and is offered by schools, universities or formal training programmes and organized, guided and typically assessed with tests and completed with a certificate. Informal learning, on the other hand, involves the acquisition of knowledge and skills outside of formal educational institutions and structured curricula. It takes place in everyday life and in the workplace, for example, and is achieved through observation, mentoring, experimentation, problem-solving, self-study and social interaction. Both forms of learning play an important role in lifelong learning, where informal learning now accounts for around 70 to 90 percent of adult learning and has gained in importance with increasing flexibility in the world of work. Informal learning is tailored to individual learning needs, provides flexibility and self-direction and enables the direct transfer of what has been learned into practice. Many future skills, such as self-management and the ability to learn are particularly valued by employers and are also trained through informal learning.  

What’s the difference between knowledge and skills?

Simply put, knowledge is what a person knows, while skills are what a person can do. Knowledge includes factual knowledge or language skills. Examples of skills are communication skills, problem-solving skills, technical skills or interpersonal skills. 

What skills will help us to take control of our professional future?

The skills we will need in the future are also known as “future skills”. These are skills that often don’t necessarily relate to a specific profession or industry, but are suitable for meeting future challenges and seizing opportunities across the board. They could be skills that help you analyse complex problems, evaluate solutions and make informed decisions, manage your own affairs, learn or work effectively with others. These future skills are becoming increasingly important, as the world of work is constantly changing due to technology, globalization and other megatrends. Employees with future skills are better equipped to succeed in a highly dynamic working environment. PostFinance is currently defining the future skills relevant to the banking of the future. 

How can you ensure that you stay motivated in lifelong learning?

The basis for successful lifelong learning is an inherent willingness to learn. For this reason, it is important to find your personal motivation and think about why you want to learn something. If you know your motivation, it’s easier to stay committed. Do you just want a break from the daily grind and get out of your comfort zone? Do you feel the need to try out new things? Perhaps you’re just curious? Or do you want to get ahead in your job with new skills? 

Clear learning goals will also help you to practise lifelong learning. Specifically, it’s about defining which skills or knowledge you want to acquire or improve and setting clear and achievable goals to structure the learning process. This includes scheduling regular learning times – be it daily, weekly or monthly. A learning schedule ensures that learners stay consistent and make continuous progress. And finally, it makes sense to reflect on your own learning experiences (in dialogue with others, if possible) and to consider how what you learned can be applied in practice. 

Which forms of learning are particularly suitable for lifelong learning?

There are countless forms of lifelong learning. Here are a few examples:

  • Continuing vocational training includes programmes and activities aimed at improving a person’s professional skills and expertise to increase their career opportunities or keep pace with the demands of the labour market.

  • Thanks to digital technologies and the Internet, online learning platforms have become widespread and are available for almost any subject. These allow learners to study flexibly and conveniently from home or on the move using courses, tutorials, webinars, podcasts and other educational content. Just take a look on YouTube!

  • Platforms such as LinkedIn offer many opportunities to learn from other professionals who publish articles and offer courses there. Search for groups that interest you and join the discussion. 

  • Books, magazines, articles, online resources and podcasts offer a wealth of information on various topics. They’re very effective methods for lifelong learning. One useful tool, for example, is Blinklist. This app summarizes the content of non-fiction books and podcasts. This means it only takes 15 minutes to read or listen to the main ideas and concepts from bestsellers, classics and new publications.

  • Read the PostFinance Blog here

    Whether on the subject of pioneers, money, business or investing, the PostFinance Blog has a wide range of stories for anyone who wants to learn more.

    Listen to the PostFinance Podcast now

    The PostFinance Podcast introduces listeners to a wide range of topics on money, banking in Switzerland and PostFinance. That’s how exciting the world of finance can be. 

  • Look for workshops, seminars and training events that complement your interests and skills. These often offer practical experience and the opportunity to interact with others. 

  • Make contact with people who share similar interests and exchange knowledge, experience and ideas. Discussion and learning together can be very rewarding. 

  • Put what you have learned into practice, either through projects, experiments or the application of new skills in everyday life or at work.

What’s the connection between lifelong learning and professional development?

The fact is that those who continually expand their skills are in demand on the job market. If you are applying for a new job or a higher or different position, you have a better chance of getting the job with specialist expertise and enhanced skills. At the same time, targeted training proves that you are motivated to keep on developing and don’t simply want to remain at your current level of knowledge. This is attractive to employers, because they can rely on you to see new challenges as opportunities.

How does lifelong learning affect a company’s competitiveness?

Lifelong learning contributes to companies’ competitiveness.

Ensures adaptability

Constantly changing market conditions require flexibility and adaptability. With lifelong learning, employees remain agile and can quickly adapt to new situations, which enables the company to better adapt to changing circumstances. 

Promotes talent acquisition and retention

This signals to current and future employees that the company supports their continuous professional development, which also helps the company attract and retain highly qualified specialists. 

Strengthens the employer’s image and appeal

By investing in training and educational programmes, employees receive the support they need to develop professionally and personally. This contributes to a positive corporate culture and strengthens trust between employees and the company. 

How PostFinance promotes lifelong learning among its employees

Different learning opportunities

PostFinance provides a wide range of learning content in various formats and languages to enable employees to take charge of their own development according to their individual needs and interests. In addition to in-house learning opportunities, PostFinance also provides employees with external learning resources, on-the-job development and coaching opportunities.

Learning and collaboration tools

PostFinance has set itself the goal of offering employees a workplace-integrated, digital learning environment with easy access to a wide range of internal and external learning content. The learning process can be individualized and self-directed with the help of these tools. The resources also make it easier to share knowledge with colleagues. 


The central role in the modern learning process is played by the learners themselves. Learners as well as managers, specialists and ambassadors for learning are empowered and supported with aids, tools and learning and development opportunities so they can promote and anchor “learning” in their everyday work.

Working conditions

PostFinance promotes an environment conducive to learning by providing premises that encourage individual and collaborative learning. Employees also receive financial and time-related support for internal and external training and further education.

Culture and mindset

Even the best learning content and tools are useless if continuous, self-directed learning is not practised in the organization. To support this cultural change, learning and personal development are anchored in the target culture, in cultural skills and in PostFinance’s understanding of leadership. 

More on the subject

This page has an average rating of %r out of 5 stars based on a total of %t ratings
You can rate this page from one to five stars. Five stars is the best rating.
Thank you for your rating
Rate this article

This might interest you too