Technology changes with each passing day, and we need to keep up with it. Well, don’t get me wrong, it’s not just about gaining a new skill to keep up with the trends, but also managing to still remember what you know!
Yes, you gained a skill a month ago or two months ago. At first, it was exciting to use the skill and all that, but at times, things overlap each other. If you don’t practice you will end up forgetting all that you had learnt.
Let’s take a simple example, you have just learned Spanish and it’s exciting to finally have a third or fourth language oh yeah! However, you have learnt it but not everyone around you knows it, so who will you talk to????? It can be a bit stressful but you know what, don’t despair.
You can decide to join a community of people with similar interests and skills to communicate with. This will be a platform to challenge each other, and enjoy the new skill together. Also, find a mentor who can coach you and help you be on track and not despair.
With such an example, you can see some challenges we encounter with new skills or sustaining a new skill, hobby, interest, or passion. What we do at the end of the day, is what matters most.
How to keep up with emerging technology trends
Gain a skill
You cannot keep up with the trends if you don’t have a new skill or perfecting an old one. So the first step is skill acquisition:
- Think it over and find out what you want,
- How will it be helpful to my life?
- Is it essential in my career path?
- How will I benefit from the skill, and how will I help others?
- Is this a skill I will use for a day and then leave it or is there a future for it?
- Will, I will be committed to getting a new skill, or will it just be a by the way?
There is power in finding answers to such questions. It will help you know whether acquiring a new skill is helpful or not. If you want to benefit from your new skill, pay for it! Yes, you had that right, pay to learn something. There are many e-learning platforms on the internet and many free courses that you can get. If you are disciplined then whether the online course is free or paid for you will benefit.
The power of paid courses is that you will feel the pinch of paying and not being committed, unlike a free course which you can decide to learn or not.
Thus, if you know you have a commitment problem, ensure you feel the pinch and even after acquiring the skill, you will still ensure you water the skill for a long while. We need to learn the art of discipline while learning, commitment, and practice after acquiring a skill.
2) Schedule time
In the first step, we have decided that we will acquire a new skill or keep up with our already acquired skill. As mentioned earlier, there is a need for discipline, commitment, and practice. It’s easy, schedule time for the skill, and also to replenish all your skills.
I won’t question anyone’s busy schedule because striking a balance between our work life and family life tends to be tricky at times. However, scheduling 30 mins a day can’t be that hard.
- Listen to a podcast to build on your skill or be inspired,
- Search for alternative ways to do something,
- Try a new design you learnt.
- Use a new software that you just downloaded.
We tend to have a lot of time at our disposal, for instance, while waiting on a line or for a service, while relaxing from the day-duties, while on the bus going home, during the weekends and so on. Schedule the time, be committed, learn something new, or build on something, and practice practice practice.
Also, on this refine your search skills so that you look for things that will help you and build you. Just ensure you are up to date with new trends and techniques. You can also decide to subscribe to certain blog posts that will help you in the long run.
3) Set Alerts and network
One can tend to be forgetful at times about what they need to do. Thus, you can essentially set Google alerts for your interests; download some apps that can act as reminders. Also, you can jot down on a book that you require to do, and have a checklist for all that you do. Just like the first step, you need to be disciplined and committed at all times.
Also identifying influencers in your field is essential. In as much as we feel that we are okay, we still need to have people who inspire us or make us want to know more and move forward.
Thus, maybe you have acquired new skills and you want to start a startup to use the skills you have. You can decide to find a mentor, you don’t necessarily need to talk one on one but you can follow their tweets, blog posts, podcasts and it will be like talking to them.
In terms of networking ensure you are part of various communities, forums, groups, meet-ups, conferences, and local events. These are essential in ensuring that you stay up to date with current trends.
Meeting other people with similar interests is so good and at the end of the day, you might even meet someone and invent something with them. This is the beauty of networking. Also, during the talks, you can identify new opportunities, be inspired, be mentored, or even make lasting friendships.
Also, if there are online webinars that are worth attending online, go for it! You can learn a lot from them and the beauty is that you don’t really have to do anything but just listen and pose questions if there is a segment for that.
Subscribe to interesting blog posts in the tech industry and just search for ideal stuff. Also, ensure you read your emails, we are all victims of ignoring some emails because we see it as a workload.
However, with these changing times, social media it’s so easy to get someone’s email and contact them via that. You might miss a great opportunity and whose fault will it be YOU!
I know the power of networking; I have met great people in meetups, champions in a certain field, and even “great people in the tech industry” At first I thought they are too preoccupied with their activities that they won’t spare a minute. However, they were more than willing to talk and share their insights.
When I was getting started in tech, I met with one of the winners of Miss Geek Africa, it was exciting to talk to her, and see her worldview of things. It helped me get more zeal to move on and continue in the tech industry.
At times it may seem like a hard thing to do, but just try! These amazing souls are always ready to talk and share with you.
For me, that was the start and I became more confident in networking. Thus, in each networking session, you go to, talk to someone you feel you need to talk to! Don’t be shy, strangers are one of the best people in the world because they don’t know you they won’t stereotype you at all but take you as you present yourself.
Cheers! Let’s network! Be committed! Practice!
In all you do, you need to be committed, persistent, hardworking, and open to new ideas. You need to make a decision and promise yourself to keep it. If you want to progress you need to just do the best for you. Whenever there is an opportunity to network with new people, be open, and do it.
Even if it might be scary at first, people don’t bite they will be ready to talk to you as long as you approach them in the right way. Also remember, when talking to someone ensure you are welcoming and willing to know more about them rather than just say too much about all that you do without even getting the personal touch. You should set the various alerts but ensure they don’t distract you from what you are supposed to be doing.
Image courtesy: Accenture insurance blog