The amazing pace of change affects all of us, both at work and at home.
At work, changes in technology, globalization and demographics can cost us our jobs but also create new amazing opportunities.
Heraclitus said, "The only thing that is constant is change"... and he lived 500 years BC!
What should be clear to all of us is that constant change requires a constant investment in learning.
So... what do YOU do to stay up to date in your field? What do you do to try and understand how change might impact your life? Are you taking advantage of new technology, new services and other innovations to enrich your life?
There are a few ways that you can stay up to date on what is going on, and I believe the trick is to have the right mix of:
(a) Breadth of understanding... that gives you a high level understanding of the coming potential changes; and
(b) A focus on what really matters to you... which means a more in depth understanding of the changes that will be important to you.
Here are three things you can do to take charge of your career in a changing world:
1. READ... A Lot! Too many people don't read enough.
- Read the newspapers, at least weekly to understand trends and what is happening in the world... online newspapers are just fine, but the paper ones still work!
- Read industry publications.
- Read blogs by thought leaders and experts in your industry.
- Read articles on specialist websites that focus on trends, on your industry.
- Take courses related to your field of expertise. Upgrade your skills continuously.
- Take course on the soft skills... communications, presentations, writing, selling, time management etc.
- Take advantage of the free courseware online, available through many credible sites today.
3. TALK to PEOPLE.
- Network with people that know what is going on in your industry.
- Join groups online in places like LinkedIn and other sites that promote collaboration.
- Go to events that focus on your industry and listen to the speakers, engage them in conversation and talk to the other attendees.
- Talk to the experts in your company, in your supplier companies and in your client companies.
In addition to taking charge of your career, you can use a similar approach to understand innovation in the world around you. It is only in the last "relatively few" years that we have been able to shop online, find and book a restaurant online and been able to order groceries online that get delivered to your door. We have one device that fits in our pocket which is capable of being a GPS, Calendar, email, instant messenger and a phone! This is just scratching the surface of recent changes.
Your world at home is changing as quick as or even more quickly than your job!
Most people will NOT put in the effort to keep up with change, so if YOU decide to put in the work you will be ahead of the game!
"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." W. Edwards Deming