Author: Byron Pulsifer © 2017
How many years has it been since you graduated from high school, or college or university?
For some of you, I bet it has been quite a few years. And, for these people where it has been many years since graduation, you may be thinking that you do not have to learn anything new or take any more courses.
Life Has a Way of Telling You Different
You may have found yourself cast off by your employer and when you go out to the marketplace to offer your services, you find that you are not able to find work. The problem of finding a new job today is even more challenging especially since a number of highly skilled positions are being filled on an offshore basis. This problem was recently attested to by a neighbour who fears that she will lose her job not because of any work performance issue but because her role can be filled using less expensive labour from an Asiatic country.
Do you think that just maybe it has something to do with your qualifications? Well it could be because of qualifications but not necessarily the case as I mentioned previously. However, having said that, there are a growing number of employees who are caught in the fast paced environment of changes in technology and the increased pressure on companies to stay competitive. In years gone by it wasn’t unusual for employers to pay for the upgrading of skills. While a few still do this, it is often much cheaper for the company to simply hire someone who already possesses the stipulated and required skill level.
How Can You Compete?
We all know that changes in our world will happen without our approval or even our involvement. The same is true is our work environments. We are not asked about whether or not we want to see change; we are either the subjects of change or we are the embracers of change. What does this mean to you?
It means that you can opt to stay where you are in terms of your knowledge, or you can accept responsibility to actively become a person involved directly in continuous learning. Let’s look first at the person who decides to stay where they are in terms of their skills level.
Stuck In The Mud
This is a person who was once in a position of having to learn a set of skills in order to acquire the right set of skills for a certain kind of job. However, once the formal part of their training came to an end, the person may consciously or unconsciously make the decision that their educational dedication had come to an end. This is a person who believes that it is not their responsibility to get involved in learning new skills, or believes that the skills they currently possess are adequate.
There is no problem with this way of thinking if the job you started with and the job you have now or the job you may be asked to perform never requires any new skill sets. However, to my way of thinking, I cannot see many skilled jobs that would not require new or additional skills to not only keep a job but to be prepared for new demands in that particular field of employment. To take the position that what you brought to the table when you first started your job is all that you will ever offer means that you will soon go the way of the dinosaur. Your skills will be so out dated that you will no longer be of value to the company you work for. The result is termination.
On the other hand, the person who understands that the skills they initially brought to the job must change in relation to new and future demnds will be the ones who initiate their own additional training. If this particular person realizes that the company they work for will not pay for any upgrades to their skills, this person will seek their own training paid for out of their own pockets. This is a person who knows that change is inevitable and who knows that lack of any skill enhancements will move them closer to the door. In other words, they realize that unless they continue to demonstrate their value, they will be unemployed.
Several Things that You Might Consider
One of these is to look into a different career altogether where you can take your qualifications and experience and transport these to another job. In this case, you are offering a series of experiences that relate to the new job you are seeking.
On the other hand, you may have to look into taking upgrading courses in your specialty area, or you may have to examine the possibility, like many have done, to start a totally new career path. If this is the case, you will have to consider going back to school full-time, or on a part-time basis while you find some other kind of work that can pay the bills.
Or, you may need to consider the possibility of taking something you really enjoy doing and turning that into a business. But, starting a business takes money and time to get your business up and running and time to make a profit. If you desire to start a business, you may have to still go out to work for someone else and then plan to go into your own business as you become financially stable again.
As a lot of us have found out, graduation only means that you are ready to keep learning, to keep your skills advanced and growing because you never know when you will find yourself out on the street.
Continuous learning isn’t just a matter of something that is interesting to do; it is vitally important to be adaptive to changing market trends.
Listen To The News
In the news recently, the federal government is set to trim back the civil service by eliminating over nineteen thousand jobs.
Now, to these unsuspecting civil servants, they do not know who is on the chopping block at this very moment. This situation is not unlike Sony recently announcing that they were about to lay off over ten thousand people worldwide.
The point that will really hurt here is that these employees both from the government and the private sector did not know what fate would befall them when they went to work one day but learned about their destiny on a much too sudden basis.
The reason I say sudden is that not one of these employees would have been prepared to lose their job.
The best anyone can do is to be involved in a continuous learning cycle so that when and if the axe falls, you are not scrambling to learn what you should have been doing all along especially since there is absolutely no one secure in his or her job today.
We Must All Remember
One of the things that modern work has shown us time and time again is that a job seems only as good as the day is long.
This simply means that one never knows when the fortunes of a company will change where no change was expected.
This was also true for RIM (Research In Motion) who developed the blackberry but has taken a real tumble over the last few years because other companies have developed more products and have captured a great share of their former market.
New things, new products, new companies are constantly being developed so it is sane not to count on having the same job for the rest of your life.
So you also must continue to change and learn as the world progresses!
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“Change is inevitable . . . adapting to change is unavoidable, it’s how you do it that sets you together or apart.” William Ngwako Maphoto
“Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference.” Arie Pencovici
“Successful people set goals and work toward those goals. Successful people create plans and work those plans. Success doesn’t just happen; it is something you work toward.” Scott Carty; Paul Durso, Retire with Confidence
“You can decide to change your values, or you can decide to change your destiny, or you can decide to set a new sail, or to keep your own ship sea worthy.” Byron Pulsifer
“How a person masters his fate is more important than what his fate is.” Karl Wilhelm Von Humboldt
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