Anyone who has read my books knows that I love a good quote. Here’s one from Henry Ford:
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
There’s no doubt in my mind that’s true. And learning isn’t just a question of staying young. It’s also a question of earning potential.
The all-important question for everyone trying to earn a living is: Are you a life-long learner? If you’re not, forget about earning the big money or finding interesting jobs. Organisations don’t have room for people who don’t learn continuously and take responsibility for adding to their bag of skills.
Here are seven things to start doing now to boost your employability and your earning potential:
- Think of yourself as ‘Me Ltd’. Develop a personal brand; build it; live it; and keep it fresh.
- Accept that your foundation training won’t see you through for the rest of your working life. Things are changing much too quickly for that.
- Appreciate that learning is a never-ending investment in your career and in your ability to earn a living.
- Up-date your skills before they depreciate and disolve into worthlessness.
- Gain broad experience, both the hard-edge technical experience of your specialism and, probably more importantly given the way organisations are changing, the soft-edge people experience. For instance, seek out working in a variety of teams and with a variety of people and in unfamiliar cultural contexts. The more skills you have in working with others in lots of ways–workplace teams, virtual teams, temporary project teams–the more your earning power increases.
- Build outwards from your specialism; organisations are after generalists and pay well for skilled all-’rounders.
- Find out what best practices are in your industry or profession and don’t just adopt them but continually try to improve on them.
There you have it: seven ways to manage your changing world and make it work for you and your bank account!