IT experts know this well; no matter how unattainable a technology or problem can seem at first glance; things look much prettier once you are out of the woods and the project is over. And that is because one thing has changed: you. Now you have the experience, the knowledge. You have learnt something. Continuing IT education is everything, and it should keep on being exactly that for your entire life.
Especially in the world of technology, where the difference between the good and the great often comes down to the ability to adapt to the ever-changing nature of information systems. But do not forget you can learn many other non-IT-related topics that will also help you a great deal throughout your career.
Renew or die is a motto that can be applied to many things in this world. IT careers are no exception. One unfortunate side effect of digital transformation is the rapid rate at which the value of one’s current skills declines.
One day, your resume has everything top employers seem to be looking for on it, the next, you are scrolling through Internet forums trying to figure out what language or framework you should master in order to get that promotion you feel you deserve. Whether it is Python, Docker or cloud security skills, keeping an eye on the top tech skills of the moment is a bullet-proof plan against skills obsolescence.
But an on-going approach to education has other benefits too. Countering the tedious effects of devoting too much of one’s time to a single activity or line of focus is one of them. We have all experienced that imaginary brick wall that rises in between us and our goals when we have been doing the same thing for too long.
Forcing yourself to step out of your comfort zone and learn something new will solve that problem. It will give you an energy boost and a renewed sense of purpose. Do not ever underestimate what a properly motivated mind can achieve.
Thirdly, educating yourself can have a very positive effect on your current performance and capabilities. Whether it is something directly related to your line of work or something as detached as Middle Eastern history, there is always room to connect what you learn to your present endeavours.
Serendipity, or finding value in things you were not originally looking for, is a marvellous phenomenon. Capitalise on it to connect the dots and bring new perspectives into your everyday activity. Become a better professional by becoming a more knowledgeable person.
Finally, a life-long educational spirit will also make you, incidentally, a better teacher. The more you understand what someone learning something new needs of in terms of direction and resources, the better mentor and manager you will become. The best teachers tend to be great students.
That’s not to say you will naturally develop excellent teaching abilities without no effort on your part. Mastery requires experience. But you will, however, develop a certain sensibility and empathy that will make you a much more effective communicator and educator.
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