I understand the fear of change; it is much like the “fear of man” in that many people suffer from it. Because of their fear, they are left seemingly paralyzed and unable to progress. The ability to change in profession, skill and personal character is almost critical in the area of Information Technology. Not only is IT a constantly evolving and expanding profession that requires regular growth in skills and knowledge, but this “mega industry” has a lot of unstable jobs too. Let’s take a look at the change that is typically required by IT professionals.  This is a multi-part topic so check back later for more on this thread.

Changing Skills – As mentioned above, with the constant changing and growing, you need to have the ability to adapt to whatever requirements come at you in your position. There may also come a day when the skills you have now, become less valuable in business. How about a little hypothetical scenario, say you’re a floppy disk administrator in 2002. You see new CD and DVD writing technology in full swing and USB thumb drives hitting the consumer shelves. Maybe its time to develop some new skills in IT so the technology doesn’t leave you behind! Likewise, today, if your only niche is a Blackberry Enterprise Administrator, maybe you work on changing and growing some other skills if you don’t have them. Blackberry sales decline year after year…only a matter of time before they go bye-bye.

Changing skills isn’t doesn’t have to be as dreadful as it sounds. In fact, so many jobs have opportunities built in that may give you exposure to new technology and hint you toward that change in the niche you need. Keep your eyes open, maybe you have a knack for databases and have an opportunity to expand those skills. Perhaps it is in development and you just need to catch up on a new language. The key here like so much is you need to be aware that the technology is passing by your skills. Somewhere along the way, you got stuck in a position using old technology for too long. Now that you’re realizing it, don’t panic, but do be intentional about getting yourself some new cutting-edge skills!  If anything, some newer-than-10-years-old skills!

With a little bit of realistic foresight, you can head off the unfortunate scenario of losing your job because, well, floppy disk administrators aren’t necessary anymore!

Stay on track folks and keep those skills valuable and marketable!