For a modern funeral director, a new set of skills is always conducive to success. It’s because the funeral traditions we know today are quickly transforming into the new traditions of tomorrow. By expanding your education, you can set your funeral home up for success in the years to come.
As JFK once put it, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” To be a successful leader in the funeral home and in your community, you should seek out ways to always be learning.
In this blog, we’ll cover the importance of being a lifelong learner and the benefits it will bring you and your funeral home.
Why Lifelong Learning is Important
Historically, learning could be divided into two distinct categories of life. The period when we acquire knowledge (which is our time spent in the classroom) and the period of life when we apply that knowledge (which is our time spent at work).
But times are changing. We live in an era of fast-paced innovation and invention. (Just look at how much the funeral profession has changed in the past 20 years). And this means we can no longer leave learning to just the classroom. We must commit to finding ways in which we can always be growing, evolving, and learning.
Lifelong learning will help with the changes we’re seeing in the funeral profession, such as:
- Cremation becoming the new norm.
- Personalization and technology services flooding funeral homes everywhere.
- New funeral startups launching to compete with the traditional funeral home model.
- Green alternatives to both cremation and burials rising in popularity.
Benefits of Being a Lifelong Learner
Your earning potential increases. As you start learning new things — like event planning or design skills — you open new doors. And these doors will lead to new revenue streams.
You’ll avoid the risk of becoming obsolete because you’ll be able to adapt to change easier. Because the rate of change is so fast in today’s world, it’s easy to get caught up in the same old habits. And that can lead to stagnation and eventually becoming obsolete. But committing to learning new skills will help you stay competitive in our ever-changing world.
Lifelong learning is a healthy habit. It has a lot of practical benefits in our professional lives, but lifelong learning is also great for our personal life. Studies have found that continual learning will improve both our physical and mental health, and lead to a sense of satisfaction in our everyday lives.
Tips for Lifelong Learning
Start with a list, kind of like a to-do list, but more of a to-learn list. Write down areas or topics that you feel you should invest time in learning. These can be potential strengths that you want to further build on or maybe a weakness that you want to get rid of. These things also could be passions. Maybe you’ve always been a creative person and now’s your chance to take a design class. Once you’ve decided on what you want to learn, it’s easier to start setting goals — like how you’ll learn something and when you’ll learn it.
Find free time and utilize it. There’s always time to be learning. If you have a morning commute, you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts. If there’s downtime at work or on a day off, just spending 30 minutes a day will add up to three and a half hours spent each week learning something new.
Write down the resources available to you. Take stock of where and how you can learn. Look through your community college to see what courses they might offer or find a local group or meetup that teaches new skills and hobbies.
Teach what you’re learning. It’s the best way to reinforce what you’ve learned. Let’s say you’ve recently taken a course on aftercare and first-year grief for families, take the time to teach the lessons to your staff. It’s been found that you understand something better the more time you spend teaching.