While attempting to fix a network issue at home* we stumbled upon a box of old floppy disks. We realized that this box of important data, was not at all usable, as we had nothing that could read a floppy.
This got me thinking a lot about how things work today. We live in a time where planned obsolescence is not a theory, it is the driver of our economy.
It’s true for your music, it’s true for your video, it’s true for your data and it is even more true for your professional skills.
Your expert proficiencies in Harvard Graphics, Lotus 123 and Wordperfect are excellent examples, critical job skills change very quickly. It really is a world of future shock.
We talk a lot about the role of the company to foster a corporate culture of learning and that’s great, but in the end we each need to take control of our own career. The only way to succeed professionally is to commit to continuous learning.
So what is your plan in the new year to broaden your professional skills? How are you going to stretch yourself and learn something new? In this world it is less about what you learn and more about the process of learning. You need to exercise your ability to learn or it will just keep getting harder. I really mean it, everything is harder when you decide it is hard to learn new things. Think about your grandparents who refused to use a cellphone or a VCR. That is what you will become if you give up on your ability to learn new skills.
When I think of critical skills for critical jobs top of my list are those who are quick learners (and fun to work with). A commitment to learning (note: I didn’t say an increase in attendance in training, I am talking learning here) is the best thing you can do for your career.
Real learning takes practice. How are you investing in yourself and how are you going to practice what you have learned?
We are coming to the end of another year, what is your plan in 2009?
* +1 Apple and AT&T DSL support, -1 Linksys and Microsoft, -3 critical hours at the Bear household as we attempted to pretend we had IT Administrator skilz, talk about stretching outside of your comfort zone.