Those With Fast-Changing Careers Must Keep Learning

Dawn Papandrea | November 4, 2010

This guest post is contributed by Louise Baker, a freelance writer and blogger who writes for the ZenCollegeLife blog, as well as car insurance comparisons at CarinsuranceComparison.org.

A wise person once said “The only thing that you can count on any more is change.” There is a lot of truth to that statement. Change is constantly happening all around us whether we want to admit it or not. Companies are outsourcing repetitive, predictable tasks overseas that can be done at a fraction of the cost. Competition and the bottom line drives and influences the decision making in the corporate world everyday. Companies are also quick to re-organize and restructure at lightning speed in order to keep pace and stay relevant with today’s technology.

So, how do you manage a career in the fast lane? What can you offer a company who also has their pick of fresh new graduates? Adaptation and innovation have never been more important, and they begin with continual learning and integration of new ideas into your expertise. This is why you must update your skill set and stay on top of the latest trends. Here are two fields in which staying on top of your game is vital…

Accounting
You might not realize it, but the world of accounting is constantly changing and evolving. Think about this fact: a good number of accounting professionals can still remember a time when accounting was done on a paper ledger. There was a time not too far in the distant past when converting your paper general ledger to computer software was seen as a risky and dangerous move. Accounting professionals that refused to become experts in various accounting applications became outdated rather quickly as their competitors applied the benefits of computer-assisted accounting to their business. Today, every accounting professional has to attend the latest classes in Excel, Access and specialized accounting software packages like Sage, and be aware of the newest additions and tools that can make their business more efficient or make their services more useful. Accounting is more than having a mind for numbers, and those who cannot incorporate computers in their work run the risk of being defeated by those who can.

Computer Programming
Recent statistics are now telling us that the pace of technological development is advancing faster than ever. If you are employed in a position even remotely related to modern technology, keeping your knowledge current is a necessity. Programmers should subscribe to blogs and magazines in an effort to stay abreast of the latest discoveries, trends, insights, and strategies. Training courses are also vital, and plenty of IT workers set aside a certain amount of time to study new programming languages or attend seminars or conferences outside of their normal working hours. What used to take an employment force of 35 can now be done by a good programmer and entrepreneur – but being that programmer means staying on top of the technology field, and making sure your net worth as an employee is very high. It is important for you to be ready when the top executives come to you about any new strategy or framework, otherwise they will go looking for the expertise elsewhere.

Many careers require a lifelong commitment to constant learning and development. With the speed of communication in the modern world, improvements to a particular field in one country can be transmitted and implemented in another country almost overnight. There is simply no room left for those who think that their education ends with their degree.

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