Unless you make continuous learning in the workplace your top priority, your job may be on the line. I want you to hold on to that thought. I will expound on it later. For now, let’s talk about change and its impact.
It’s no secret we’re now living in a world that is entirely different than the one we used to know.
Yes, the world is going through a total transformation. Things are changing at breakneck speeds. The reality is, there’s no turning back.
It’s obvious that the internet and cheap bandwidth are responsible for the disturbing change. We’re in the middle of a digital revolution that is creating panic and uncertainties.
Many people in the workplace are frozen waiting for things to get back to normal. Somehow, they think their company is going through a temporary crisis. They are unaware that this new normal world.
The reality is, change can be both scary and exciting at the same time. The things that frighten us the most sometimes bring incredible opportunities with them.
But, those opportunities will only be available to a few. Only those that are willing to embrace change will capitalize on them.
“In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Learn, Unlearn And Relearn To Stay Relevant
According to Eric Hoffer, you should be afraid if you are not you embrace continuous learning in the workplace.
So, I strongly advise you to continue to learn, unlearn, and relearn. If not, you’ll soon find yourself completely unnecessary in the workplace. Your skills will become obsolete.
That means you will not have a future in your company. But, the continuous learners will rise and soar to the top.
I am not trying to threaten you by any means. I am just sharing some good old common sense advice with you.
That’s what I mean when I say change sometimes brings incredible opportunities with it.
Not long ago, I delivered a motivational keynote presentation on change for Cbeyond. They an Atlanta-based company acquired by Birch Communications.
Cbeyond is an innovative company that stays on the cutting edge of technologies. Their employees told me in countless ways how well the company treats them. I hope Birch Communications keeps the same reputation.
At the time, they were facing a tough challenge. Their mandate was to be totally a cloud-based company within five years. It was necessary so they can stay competitive and profitable.
If you are not at the forefront of technology, you probably don’t know yet about cloud technology. It’s like running your entire business without hard drives, thumb drives, or storage devices. Everything is in the cloud.
That’s the future. Even the software we once bought at the electronic store is not in the cloud. Soon, no one will have a need for a hard drive.
That means you don’t need hundreds of wires to connect your computers with each other. They are all connected in the cloud. That’s amazing! Isn’t it?
My advice to the employees was simple. I told them that this change is a gift. It’s their opportunity to remain relevant. They need to embrace and accept it.
I encouraged them to excel in cloud technology. Learn everything that there is to learn about it. The reality is, this technology is not a fad. It is here to stay. It’s either they master it or become irrelevant in the workplace.
New Challenges And Problems
Today, new and different kinds of challenges or problems confront us. As they say in the digital age, the moment you figure out how something works, it’s obsolete.
As soon as the members of your team huddle to solve a problem, another one surfaces. It’s like someone is throwing curve balls at you constantly.
Sometimes, you find yourself unprepared to deal with the new problems or challenges. What do you do?
Choose to unlearn and relearn. Refuse to remain stuck in the past.
Unlearning and relearning will enable you to make swift decisions to solve tough problems.
Together, you have to outsmart and out-think the competition to win. The days when one would learn some new skills and repeat them for the next 20 years are over.
During these difficult and uncertain times, you have to be a perpetual student. You have to be and stay informed.
You can’t wait around for someone to tell you what and when to learn. No. It’s your job to stay current and relevant in the workplace.
The New Competition In The Workforce
Would you say that your competition is fiercer than ever as an employee? You bet! In the past, you were competing with a handful of people in your field.
Today, you would be surprised to discover who is your competition. As far as I know, you may be competing with a 24 years old in a remote village in the Philippines, India, or Jamaica.
What’s unnerving about this is the fact that your competition is willing to work for a fraction of your salary. I’m not saying it’s a good thing nor am I bragging about it.
I’m just trying to raise your awareness so you can step up your game. I’m attempting to cajole and persuade you to be a continuous learner in the workplace. You have to stay relevant and competitive.
I know we cannot replace high touch with high tech. Human beings need interactions to function. People don’t do business with companies. They do business with people.
A worker in Romania probably cannot provide such human connection. Yes, social media is providing the means for us to connect with each other. But, I doubt it can replace a warm face to face smile.
The point I’m trying to convey to you is very simple. Continuous learning in the workplace is your leverage. During these turbulent times, that’s what will make indispensable. That’s what will give you the edge.
Listen to Eric Hoffer’s advice or you will wake up to find yourself beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exist.