Every day in your career is truly a new day. The speed of change is
running so quickly, the work you do today, tomorrow and certainly,
next year, will not be the work you are doing today. This is especially
true of high-tech careers. Tomorrow might bring a new technology that
will make everything you do obsolete. Are you ready for it? Are you
constantly looking and adopting new methods and types of work or are
you trying to hold on to old ways of doing business – falling
further behind with each passing day?
Many high-tech workers are rightfully scared of their skills becoming
obsolete, in some cases, before they even get to fully exercise them.
Instead of fear, though, you need to understand that this is simply
part of your career. No matter how hard you have fought to gain certain
skills, there will come a day when these skills are no longer needed
What do you do then? Do you work harder to find those clients that
need your skills, fighting for an ever shrinking piece of the action?
Do you bring your career to a standstill to dedicate your time to
gaining new skills? Do you simply ignore the changing landscape
as you always have? It should be clear that all these options lead
nowhere. Instead, you need to be willing, even eager, to abandon
any skills that no longer serve your career, while constantly acquiring
If the thought of abandoning certain skills is frightening to you,
it should be. That said, you sometimes have to do the most frightening
things in order to grow as a person. Just like selling your favorite
car, the one that you worked so hard to buy, abandoning hard-won skills
can bring a sense of loss. In today’s environment, though, you
need to move beyond this sense of loss in order to develop your career.
If you are finding your career prospects faltering due to the changing
environment (and who isn’t today) you need to look closely at
which skills are holding you back. Are you still spending time developing
your web design skills when database management and graphic design
skills are more in demand? Are you investing more and more time in
out-dated software instead of learning something new? Do you even realize
this is what you are doing? If your job prospects are waning, this
could be the cause.
Starting today, you need to begin gathering new skills. In some cases,
this will mean investigating new ways of doing what you already do.
In others, you might be investigating entirely new avenues of work.
Both are useful and can help to improve your career. One way to gain
a little direction in this area is to pay close attention to work
that is outside your area of expertise, but work that attracts
you in some
way. Sometimes we ignore those things that are most interesting to
us instead of seeing them as possible avenues for development. The
fact that you find something interesting is a clear sign that you
could develop it into a new part of your career. Would you like
to do more
graphic design work? Why not investigate the possibilities? Perhaps
you could do some design on the site for which you have been hired
to develop programming.
Each day will bring new areas to investigate, new software to try,
new people to meet. Each day should open new doors to different parts
of your career. In this way, constantly investigating new concepts
and possibilities, you can prevent your career from becoming stagnated.
Just like an evergreen tree is constantly developing new leaves to
replace the older ones, you should be developing new branches to your
career, allowing the old ones to whither and fall when necessary. You
don’t see trees trying to prop up old branches. You shouldn’t
try to prop up aging skills in a market that no longer desires them.
It can be scary to regularly abandon the skills you have worked so
hard to acquire, but when those skills are no longer serving your
career, they can actually impede your future success. You need
to be constantly
looking forward in your career, letting old skills age into pleasant
memories while building new and different ways to expand your high-tech
- END -