“THE next 20 years are likely to bring more changes to humanity than the past 300 years” futurist Gerd Leonhard
Today’s world of work is very different from the one experienced by previous generations. For many people the idea of a ‘career for life’ is simply not realistic. This is due to a multitude of different factors, including the nature of today’s companies and technology. The rapid and increasing developments in modern technology has meant that many types of job that were once considered stable careers, will increasingly no longer exist. Many more jobs will likely disappear in the future as they are replaced by more efficient tech, for example just look at the disruptive effect that driverless cars will have on the taxi industry.
This should not all be seen as inherently negative though, as modern technology has also presented many new opportunities for people willing to embrace it. All the new careers in social media, digital journalism and blogging barely existed even ten years ago. For many people the idea of a career for life would also be highly unappealing, as it would mean being stuck doing the same job for many decades, even if deep down you knew it wasn’t right for you. There is now the very real possibility of completely reinventing yourself every 5-10 years, and finding the type of work that you find truly fulfilling. As part of this process though it is very important to live in a constant state of learning.
The big question is, if we know the business environment has altered so much and is set to change even more over the next 20 years, how do we deal with it?
Here are 6 steps to successfully live in a constant state of learning:
- FEEDLY: Use the app Feedly to filter out the noise, and concentrate on what’s important. This tool is used by millions of satisfied users, and a multitude of world renowned companies such as Uber, Viacom and SAP. It allows you to organise the content that is important including blogs, publications, YouTube videos and keyword alerts. With Feedly you can create folders for all these different types of content which in turn allows you to make the web work for you. The system is easy to use, completely customisable, clean and minimalist, and will save you time thus vastly increasing your productivity and learning.
- Twitter Lists: This is a brilliant tool that remains underutilised by many Twitter users, many of whom do not even realise this feature exists. Once you get the hang of it though it can really revolutionise the way you use Twitter. It is similar in a way to the folders you can create on Feedly, as it allows you to become more organised and therefore productive on Twitter. Twitter can become somewhat overwhelming as the number of accounts you follow expands. This can easily be overcome though by organising certain accounts into lists to keep up to date with them more easily. Additionally you don’t have to follow the accounts you add to your lists, which can be either made public or private. You might want to create a list of recent business contacts that you meet at a timeshare event for example. This will allow you to keep in contact with them more easily on Twitter for conversations, retweets, likes and replies.
- YouTube Playlists: Another top tool for organising content is by using the playlists feature on YouTube. The site itself is one of the most visited on the internet, and increasingly is where people tune into for entertainment rather than television. It is also increasingly an invaluable resource for education and learning though. You can organise the videos that you find useful for learning into playlists. This could either be for repeated views, or for viewing at a later date. One brilliant channel on YouTube for learning resources is the TED Talks channel which has over 5 million subscribers. The site is a brilliant resource for learning about virtually anything. For example you can learn superb sales techniques, such as when successful sales mentor Steve Clarke recorded advice videos recently at Pearly Grey Ocean Club timeshare resort in Tenerife.
- Google Plus Circles: There are many people that are far more active on Google Plus than the other social media platforms because of some of the unique features it has. For example on Google Plus you can organise contacts into Circles. This allows you to create a circle of relevant accounts for any subject you are interested in which can then help aid your learning. If you wanted to learn more about social media for example you can create a circle of users or organisations that actively post relevant articles about social media.
- LinkedIn Groups: Microsoft has just acquired LinkedIn for a staggering $26.2 billion, just showing how important this business focused social network has become. LinkedIn is increasingly useful in helping to make business contacts, gain endorsements and recommendations from colleagues, and ultimately acquire new skills and employment. With LinkedIn there are also a vast array of different groups that you can join for a whole variety of career related interests and fields. For example you may be an online journalist looking for new techniques to increase the online reach of your posts. Through joining a relevant LinkedIn group you can find a wealth of information that others within this field of work will have shared.
- Online Courses: There are a whole host of brilliant websites where you can take online courses, many of which are completely free. While you may already have a degree and be well settled into a job, through studying an online course you can acquire new skills to help you improve your position within the company or organisation you work for. Alternatively you may be between careers, and an online course will help you CV to stand out. It will show you are focused, have goals and are intent on acquiring new knowledge which are all skills that employers look for.
To increase your acquisition of new knowledge and to improve your learning you should aim not to just passively take in information, but also ask questions and engage with others in order to understand more. This can be in real life, via online forums, or through social media. Through social media for example you can reach out to influencers within your field and ask relevant questions as they will likely have a lot of skills and knowledge that they are often more than happy to share with those that are willing to ask.
As shown there are a variety of different steps you can take in order to successfully live in a constant state of learning. These are just some of tools available, with literally thousands of different options. The internet itself is the biggest source of information in the world, and with your phone you can literally carry it everywhere.
If you found this post useful then please share it across social media, and leave a comment below. We would also love to read any recommendations you have for continuing to live in a constant state of learning, so add them in a comment below.