“In four years, you’ll have to relearn 30% of your job.” – Mark Niemann-Ross, Lynda.com author. Change is something many people fear and avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, in today’s workforce, ignoring change will eventually make you obsolete, and in some cases, unemployable. If you aren’t constantly pushing yourself forward and learning new skills to adapt to the times, you will fall behind.
Having years and years of excellent experience in the field isn’t enough anymore. Employers are looking for updated technology and software skills, as well as current industry knowledge and how well it can be communicated. Companies seem to hire younger employees because they believe that younger workers invest more time in developing new skills and have more interest in exploring new ideas. As a seasoned worker, you have to emulate these motives as well and prove the bias wrong. It’s crucial to stay relevant to survive the continuous changes, but how?
Read what the best of the best in your industry is doing. Subscribe to newsletters and blogs to get the latest industry trends sent right to you. Every week, take the time to read up on the trends and do some research. Doing it only once every few months will cause you to fall behind. If you’re too busy to sit down and read, listen to podcasts!
Attend Industry Conferences
Sign up for conferences related to your field. Go listen to speakers. Listening to current struggles and successes of others will help you stay relevant.
It’s not in everyone’s budget to go back to school, but there are many tutorials and webinars out there that are easily accessible to anyone that will help freshen up your skills.
Meet New People
Join Facebook groups or professional associations to talk to peers in your industry. Find out how they are adapting to changes. It’s important to get perspectives from all age groups as well. If you’ve been out of the workforce for awhile, a trusted younger friend will also be useful to help you update your style professionally.
Explore Different Industries
Never limit yourself to one particular skill set. Always plan for the future by learning skills in different industries as well. This will give you the upper hand against your competition, especially if your job could potentially be automatable in the future.
Having loads of experience doesn’t guarantee you a job anymore, or secure the job your currently hold. Make sure you are constantly freshening up your skills and pushing yourself to learn the newest trends in order to stay relevant. You can only fight change for so long before you put yourself at risk. Flexibility and constant curiosity will help you stay relevant in today’s workforce, no matter what your age may be.