Friday, August 18th, 2017

Are you ready to boost earnings and life?

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012

By R.J. Reynolds, president and CEO, Radius Indiana

Are you fully prepared for a world that no longer exists? Perhaps surprisingly, many people are. You may have experienced this real-life phenomenon if you’ve been passed over for promotion, laid-off or just came up a little short for a new job. The good news is that this current pain can become a springboard. You can prepare yourself to take on new opportunities, advance your career and boost your earnings. And while you’re advancing your life in this important fashion, you’ll also be helping your family, your community, your region and your state.

How do you do this? You do it through an active commitment to life-long learning. The saying used to be that you can’t teach and old dog new tricks. This tired old phrase is not only not true in today’s fast-paced 21st century world, it can be dangerously delusional. This is also true both for those presently in long-time successful careers and those who need to kick-start some new skills to be competitive for scarce jobs.

Are you worried that younger professionals or workers might overtake you? Or wanting to get back in the workforce now that you’ve retired from 25 years at your previous job? To get ahead and improve your skills and abilities, it used to be somewhat of a challenge. In today’s education-focused online world, there’s no excuse not to improve yourself on a continuous basis. Have a computer with access to the Internet? Certificate and degree programs alike abound online, from traditional matriculated coursework from Hoosier-based universities (like Ivy Tech or others) to the online and affordable service offerings from WGU Indiana. Major colleges and universities outside of Indiana also offer access to numerous courses and certificate programs, many of them totally free. There’s even an expanding free selection of courses and e-books on Apple’s iTunes U.

Taking a few minutes every day, every week soon adds up in the world of self-improvement. Instead of watching reruns of The Office or Big Ten Classics on ESPN, why not explore some new opportunities for growth and development? Want higher security? Upgrade your skills - at whatever level you are presently - to match jobs that are appearing in this high-paced digital world. Didn’t finish high school? No worries, equivalent GED programs are available all over the state of Indiana to fill in the gaps.

Want to start or finish a degree? Multiple cost-effective options exist everywhere, from traditional brick and mortar colleges to online training and transferable coursework. Is there something you love or have a passion for? Committing to life-long learning can unlock a door to improve your quality of work life. Making a commitment to continuous learning improves your community as well as punching up your checkbook. Government leaders, business professionals and elected officials often talk about the need for “workforce development.” Simply put, that means encouraging local workers to combine experience and on-the-job savvy with new knowledge and new ways of working learned through continuous and measurable self-improvement.

It’s a new fact of life that workers will change jobs - whether self-initiated or forced - up to 10 times in a given lifetime. When you consider that the majority of the previous generation worked at one or two jobs during their entire adult life experience, that’s quite a change. But that change is here and it’s here to stay.

Job and family security - the capacity to efficiently provide and prosper - depends on what you know and how to strategically apply it, not on when you were hired or what your seniority date is. Life-long learning pays off, and it can even be fun and satisfying. If you feel stuck, check out your local university or WorkOne office for options. Then instead of being prepared to work in a world that is going away or no longer exists, you’ll be creating job security and opportunities for an emerging world.