Have you ever met anyone that’s especially closed minded, and resistant to change? Someone who can’t handle bigger changes in work, technology, or society – who pines for the way things “used to be” with respect to most things?
Those days aren’t coming back. Neither is the slower pace of change that may have been a part of things in an era gone by. It sure seems as though the velocity of change keeps accelerating each passing year that goes by. Heck, it’s probably more like each passing month or week that goes by. Technology, frameworks, processes, and communication platforms are changing rapidly. This isn’t like the telephone was invented, and then decades went by before cordless phones were the “cool thing” for years. Change seems to be happening faster and faster all the time.
Along those lines, I think it’s more important than ever to focus on life-long learning. I had included continual learning as one of 15 ways to grow and protect net worth in a prior post. If we instead keep the mindset of people who just like things “the way they have been”, and are slow to adopt different changes, we risk getting left behind. If we don’t keep up, somebody else somewhere is. Not only that, but others are driving change. Thus, it’s best to keep our head in the game, be flexible, and stay with the changes.
In addition to technological changes, I’ve come to believe that it’s probably a good idea to try to learn from any situation and any job you have. You might be in a job you don’t like right now, and it might seem like what you’re doing is not aligned with your true interest. Fair enough.
Thing is, not sure about you, but I’ve come to find that I’ve learned lessons from every job I’ve had over the years. Yes, even a few that I had all the way back in high school. One thing is that I don’t ever want to be in that type of job again:) Other than that, and more practically, I learned some communication skills and how to handle customers. One high school job I had was as a customer service representative. At first, I was taken aback by the angry customers who came in to complain; that’s pretty much who I dealt with. However, after a while, I began to learn strategies to handle them, and resolve issues while making them feel like they got something out of the deal. It became a fun challenge to try to turn a skeptical and irritated customer into a happy one. These foundational skills have come in handy over the years, successfully dealing with certain people in my professional career.
Also, I’ve learned to keep in mind that when you try to learn and do your best, someone is often looking. Your reputation in a job that might seem entry level can carry a lot of weight with people who can open doors for you to better jobs. An approach of continual learning can pay off in numerous way.
Why do I say all this? Well, I think that when I was much younger, I didn’t always try to be an early adopter. Rather, I would get comfortable with a certain way of doing things, or a certain job environment, and be content. It took me some time, but I’ve come to see that my own successes have come by actively trying to learn from every situation, and improve even in some small way as a result.
If change is inevitable, we might was well take an approach of active learning, intellectual curiosity, then and adapt and/or better ourselves each passing day.
What Do You Think?
Do you try to take an active approach to learning from your experience each day?
Do you also think that it’s become more important to embrace continual learning each passing year?
Have you also noticed an accelerating rate of change in our jobs, technology, communication platforms, etc?