Struggling to Find Inspiration on LinkedIn? Look Again!

Inspiration on LinkedIn - Udacity

When we’re down, feeling unmotivated, and in need of a spark, we often turn to the internet for help. We go looking for those stories that energize and inspire us. We want to be uplifted. But inspiration is not all we go looking for—we seek information as well.  We want knowledge, evidence, facts. We want to know what it takes to succeed, and how to get it.

There was a time when inspiration-seekers would go to LinkedIn for all the above and more.

But today, many people complain of shady recruiting solicitations, and too many self-proclaimed influencers parroting empty clichés. They bemoan a ceaseless parade of pinterest-esque aphorisms about leadership, and smug recitations of how someone hired someone despite their lack of qualifications. Many have taken to LinkedIn to complain about the above, and many others have complained about the complaints.

If these trends have put you off LinkedIn, you’re apparently not alone.

But we encourage you to look again at LinkedIn, because amongst all the noise and chatter, there can still be found powerful stories from hard-working lifelong learners who are accomplishing amazing things in their lives every day.

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You too (and U2!) must embrace Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning - Udacity - U2

If you’d asked us last month whether we expected to be mentioning Thomas L. Friedman, Bono, and Forbes in the same breath with the term lifelong learning, we might have briefly gazed quizzically into the distance, contemplated the possibility, then likely just returned to the daily reality of trying to deliver the best learning experience on the planet.

However, as it turns out, you’d have been the prophetic one if you’d proposed the idea, because Thomas L. Friedman and Bono are indeed together in Forbes discussing lifelong learning, and while the pairing may seem unusual, the insights throughout are laser-precise, and together they present a clear exhortation to embrace the path of lifelong learning.

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On Lifelong Learning, Parenting, and Career Change

How a former professor turned stay-at-home parent enrolled with Udacity and became a Data Analyst

Lifelong Learning - Parenting - Career Change - Udadity

I’d like to introduce you to Kevin. He’s a husband, father, and today, a data analyst. But that wasn’t always the case. A few years ago, his family undertook a major change that significantly impacted his life and career. At that time, he was teaching Arabic as an assistant professor at Appalachian State University.

The change was set in motion when his wife was offered an incredible career opportunity in her hometown of Austin, TX. Together, they made the decision to put Kevin’s career on hold so that she could pursue hers. With their 1-year-old son in tow, they trekked west, and Kevin became a stay-at-home dad.

Suddenly, his daily schedule shifted dramatically from being on the university campus all day teaching, grading and conducting research, to being in their new Austin home with his son, feeding, diapering, bathing, dressing, cleaning up, doing laundry and managing naptime.

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Put Your Soul Into It: Lifelong Learning and The Pursuit of Happiness

Student Success - Lifelong Learning - Cloud Nine - Udacity

As a young professional in the banking industry, Jennifer Tsou worked as a Relationship Banker—providing personal financial counseling, assisting with lending services, and building relationships with customers. Her university education—focused on finance and economics—provided her with the tools she needed to be successful in her role. Her career in banking afforded her stability, and the opportunity to further develop her customer relations skills. Still, she often found herself questioning her path. She occasionally indulged herself by imagining doing something different with her life and career, only to remind herself she should be happy to have a job.

Something was definitely missing.

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The Importance of Persistence and Curiosity in a Knowledge Economy

Persistence and Curiosity - Knowledge Economy

Understanding how persistence and curiosity can impact one’s career goals is important for anyone at any stage of career development, particularly in light of our continuing transformation into a knowledge economy, and the critical importance of embracing lifelong learning. It is especially important to recognize how the skills you learn, the knowledge you accrue, and the experience you gain, can translate to “value” for both yourself, and for employers. Finally, it can be instructive to explore concepts like planned happenstance and growth mindset, and to investigate differences between persistence and resilience, in order to effectively identify your personal strengths, and those areas you want to improve on.

The two most important traits in a job candidate

A recent Business Insider article highlighted an episode of Reid Hoffman’s podcast “Masters of Scale” that featured Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt as the guest. In the episode, Schmidt identifies what he believes to be the two most important traits in a job candidate—persistence and curiosity.

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Digamma.ai & Udacity: How Industry and Educators can Work Together to Address the Skills Gap in AI

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to dramatically reshape our world in ways we’re only just beginning to imagine. More so than perhaps any other technology, AI stands to become the transformative force of the future.

Talent, community, and investment

Understandably, some of the brightest minds in the world are already working in the field, and every day more innovators, risk-takers, and forward-thinkers arrive to join their ranks. In many respects it’s a simple equation—incredible new technologies attract incredible new talent.

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Building Meaningful Lives: Talking Lifelong Learning at the Milken Institute Global Conference

Building Meaningful Lives
Photo Credit: Jonathan Barenboim

The Milken Institute describes itself as “a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health.” In addition to producing actionable policy initiatives, and publishing important reports focused on issues related to human, financial, and social capital, the organization holds an annual Global Conference every year.

Building Meaningful Lives

This year’s conference, with a theme of Building Meaningful Lives, concluded on May 3rd. Shernaz Daver, Udacity’s Chief Marketing Officer, spoke at the conference, on a panel called “Unbound: Retraining The American Workforce.” Joining her were the following panelists:

Arthur Bilger, Founder and CEO, WorkingNation

Allen Blue, Co-Founder and Vice President of Product Management, LinkedIn

Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Former Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce; Advisory Board Member, WorkingNation

Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO, Lumina Foundation

The goal of the panel was to tackle questions related to this premise:

“Millions of Americans have lost the jobs they were trained for as the employment needs of entire industries have shifted, and millions still in the workforce lack the skill set for tomorrow’s jobs.”

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