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Adult Learner

Systems Change
Adult Learner > Strategies > Expanding Social Networks

Expanding Social Networks

Overview

Networking and supporting adult learners in expanding their social networks provide access to additional resources and Social Supports, which can impact their trajectory and Motivation. Knowledge and utilization of existing informal and formal social networks to raise awareness of local learning opportunities can improve persistence and feelings of Safety. This can have a significant impact on vulnerable populations, especially adults who have been negatively impacted by Adverse Experiences, Socioeconomic Status, language barriers, and physical or cognitive limitations. When it comes to getting a job, networks are especially important to low-skilled workers and immigrants.

Proactive networking behaviors have been associated with increased productivity, hope, and a more positive view of one's future work self. Access to peers, expertise, and learning networks are strong predictors of opportunities to engage in workplace learning. Across the adult work lifespan, the informal learning that takes place in personal and social networks is important across many contexts such as hearing about job opportunities, gaining initial entry, connecting with potential employers, and gaining access to choices about different ways of updating skills, knowledge and experience.

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