87 week ago — 6 min read
Have you ever been flustered by the number of skills you need to acquire just to get by at work?
Deepa is an entrepreneur in her mid-50s. She has been running her own software firm for approximately a decade and was formerly working in a software company. A mechanical engineer by training, Deepa began her career with an automotive firm. She gained skills in entrepreneurship, marketing, programming, and a lot of other fields through her sojourn. Some of the skills that she learnt early in her career, like the use of a typewriter are now obsolete, whereas her C++ programming skills have metamorphosed into JAVA and Python skills. The entrepreneurship skills she learnt and continues to build on, are still relevant. While it seemed a little difficult to gain multiple skills, and shed redundant ones, it has helped Deepa and countless others surge forward in their careers.
Owing to the change in technology, it is imperative that employees are agile with respect to acquiring, using, and shedding redundant skills based on the needs of their employer and the marketplace.
Expecting your career to grow without skilling, is like wanting to buy a motor car at the price of a hand drawn cart!
In the past, it was common for skills such as numeracy, and basic IT skills to hold the employee in good stead for many years, if not decades. However, with the revolution in technology, skills are becoming obsolete within two or three years. For instance, while it was necessary to know the basics of book-keeping using actually books in the past, tally and electronic spreadsheets are in vogue now.
Hence, owing to the change in technology, it is imperative that employees are agile with respect to acquiring, using, and shedding redundant skills based on the needs of their employer and the marketplace.
‘It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skills’ – Wilbur Wright
When freshers aim to join the workforce, or employees want to switch career paths, it is extremely imperative that they identify the skills required to thrive in the sector of their calling. While it isn’t necessary or even possible to gain all skills prior to joining a job, an employee should certainly aim and try to get a hang of some of the basic skills required and acquire the other necessary skills on the job, either by virtue of trying their hands at different skills or by enrolling for formal skilling programmes.
As a kid you learnt to count with your fingers, abacus came next, and ultimately you used the calculator. How did you do that? Simply put, the mind understood that using a calculator was more efficient than using fingers and adapted by letting go of the act of using fingers completely!
Letting go of preconceived notions, relearning an entire task or skill from scratch, and fostering a sense of willingness to shed old habits learn helps in unlearning and creates a brand-new slate for reskilling.
It is often said that old habits and practices die hard, and rightly so. While gaining new skills may seem like a challenge, it is relatively easier than forgetting old habits and skills and equipping oneself for change.
Letting go of preconceived notions, relearning an entire task or skill from scratch, and fostering a sense of willingness to shed old habits learn helps in unlearning and creates a brand-new slate for reskilling. Making the brain and mind understand that letting go of a redundant skill is beneficial is the most crucial aspect of unskilling.
Coming back to the counting example, after using your fingers for years how did you use an abacus or calculator with ease? The answer again, lies in the mind. When we perceive something to be necessary to make our lives simple, we will learn it no matter what.
To cater to needs of the market, organisations need to constantly evolve and deliver products and services that are in tune with the pulse of the market. In such a scenario, it is important that the employees possess the relevant skills to deliver results with accuracy, precision, and efficiency.
The skilling cycle is a never-ending, continually improving factor that enables organisations, people and communities continually transform, grow, and improve. Knowledge is wealth, skills help you monetise that wealth!
The best skill that any employee or person in the 21st century can have, is the ability to be agile and quickly learn, unlearn, and relearn skills in a variety of ways, to be poised to serve the demands and needs of the market! Understand the fact that new skills make our lives, and the others more efficient and simpler is the first crucial step one can take towards reskilling.
The skilling cycle is a never-ending, continually improving factor that enables each and every employee today to continually improve for the better and deliver the very best in accordance with their potential. It helps organisations, people and communities continually transform, grow, and improve.
Knowledge is wealth, skills help you monetise that wealth!
Also read: Focus on the right metrics
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Posted byFazalur Rahman
Director - Business Management