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Adapt or Perish Professionally


Twitter, webinars, Blackberries and teleconferencing did not exist 15 years ago. Yet to remain relevant in today’s work environment it is imperative that all employees keep up with the pace of technology. There is a fear among some older workers of returning to a learning environment. For some it’s the fear of being in a formal classroom with much younger people who seem and in some cases are sharper and much more knowledgeable.{{more}} For others, going back would mean resurrecting negative memories of teachers who may have insulted, beaten or belittled them in front of their peers and those memories are enough to avoid learning all together. However, learning no longer takes place just in a formal classroom setting anymore.

In fact, in many workplaces the job itself is a live, learning environment that changes every day.

Learning should not be feared, but it needs to be embraced because with each new piece of information, you are making yourself indispensable to your employer and creating more career options for yourself.

Start small. No one expects you to go out and enroll in college tomorrow.

However, consider borrowing or buying a book on a subject that can enhance your skills at work. Read it from cover to cover and write done 3 things you will do differently as a result of this new found information. Consider doing research on the Internet as well, as many books become outdated after a few years.

Look at the people in your department. Does someone possess information that you can benefit from? Get to know that person first, then propose a trade; maybe you have a skill they want to learn. Look especially at the young people. While they may have technical knowledge, many lack the human touch and professionalism that many older people possess. Make it worthwhile for them and soak up the information like a sponge.

Once you begin to develop your confidence and your thirst for information, take it a step further and enroll in a formal class whether they are offered through your job or publicly.

If you have access to the Internet, there are tons of online discussion groups you can join to stay abreast of the latest information. If you do not have Internet access, then take a trip to the library and start there.

There is no better investment than an investment in yourself and your education.

The choice is yours. You either adapt and prove your value to your employer or slowly prove that you are a drain on the company’s resources.

Karen Hinds – President/CEO
Workplace Success Group LLC
21 West Main Street 4th fl
Waterbury, CT 06702
Phone: 203-757-4103
A CT Winner of the Make Mine a Million Dollar Business award!