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Your Skillset Should Change with the Times

If workplace needs never changed, we’d still send messages with pigeons.

You know what one of the biggest disappointments of growing up is? Realizing you’re never going to stop learning things. I finished school, I don’t wanna learn things anymore!

Joking aside, from when you’re a child to when you’re old and wrinkly, you should never stop learning new skills. It’s not just because learning is a major aspect of the human condition; it’s also because professional spaces change a lot, and they change fast. You need to be able to adapt on the fly when changes come knocking on your workplace, whether they be operational changes, policy changes, or even just a change on who has to bring the donuts in the morning. Flexibility is the root of all professional skills.

Let’s say, for example, your specialty is assembling presentation material. You’re the presentation master; someone needs a chart, a graph, or a PowerPoint, they come to you. But let’s say that some hot new presentation format begins making waves in your professional sphere. It doesn’t matter precisely what; what matters is that it’s something you’re not already familiar with. But you’re the presentation master, so everyone’s still coming to you to get these presentations made. What do you do? If you answered “shrug and say ‘I don’t know how to do that, ask someone else,’” then congratulations, you’re wrong.

You could turn down the request, certainly, but it sure as heck wouldn’t be very professional, and it won’t earn you any favors with your coworkers, especially if that new format becomes a norm. If you want to stay at the top of the game, you’re gonna hunt down the information and teach yourself to utilize this new format. There are usually lots of resources online you can use to get a quick primer in just about any subject, and if you need a little time to study up, that’s okay. But don’t just shrug off responsibilities because they’re not in your precise wheelhouse.

New changes and advancements will always come to your place of work, whether you like it or not. Instead of being an obstinate rock, go with the flow and learn new skills. It’s a win-win: you got to grow a little as a person, and you still get to be the presentation master.

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