With all that is changing in your world, much of which is being automated by technology, what skills do you need in business to stay valuable?
It’s a tough question to answer, primarily because you don’t know what skills you will need:
“I went to school, got a degree, picked up a skill, gained expertise in my field — I established myself over the years. Why should I have to start over?” explains Warren Berger, the author of “A More Beautiful Question.”
Yes, it’s demoralizing to understand that you got the degree, you got the experience and you’ve established yourself as an expert; only to face the reality that to stay valuable you need to always be learning.
How do I cope? I have gotten comfortable with change. I focus on the fact that nothing is permanent but change:
“Our new civic and professional life is all about doubt. About questioning the status quo, questioning marketing or political claims, and most of all questioning what is next.” notes Seth Godin, New York Times Best Selling author.
You have a wide choice of skills to pursue so how do you choose? Yes, you could follow your curiosities but your busy. You need a plan on narrowing down the options:
Berger states, How can you know whether retraining is worthwhile or which kinds of training, without first spending time on questions such as:
1. How is my field/industry changing?
2. What trends are having the most impact on my field, and how is that likely to play out over the next few years?
3. Which of my existing skills are most useful and adaptable in this new environment and what new ones do I need to add?
4. Should I diversify more or focus on specializing in one area?
5. Should I be thinking more in terms of finding a job or creating one?
What I know for sure is that your skills will be obsolete if you do not adopt the mindset of always be learning. Take an hour, a day, a week or an entire month to figure out what skills you need.
Much of the work you do today will be automated. It’s not a question of when but a matter of economics so it’s critical that you keep growing your toolbox of skills. When temperatures are too high, be sure not to fertilize your lawn because it may burn your grass.