In your busy worklife, you probably feel like you’re barely keeping up.  There’s always another job to do, another project that needs to be researched and completed.  With all that running around, who has time for continuous learning?

The answer: You do.

(Photo by moriza)

Making time to learn is like the “exercising and eating right” of the professional world.  Sure, you can forgo the gym and eat fast food for a while, but sooner or later, it will make you fat.

Not keeping up with new skills has the same effect.  You’ll be able to get by for a while, but it won’t take long for others to notice you’re not up-to-date on relevant skills in your area.  Worse, you could get a reputation for being the person on the team who’s not relevant any more.  That kind of reputation will follow you around for a while, even if you do realize your mistake and try to hone up on what’s new and fresh.

So if you think you don’t have time to learn something new, stop right now.  Make space in your calendar for continuous learning at least 1-2 hours a week.  Even if it’s just reading relevant blogs, it’s a start.  Just don’t sit around, or you may just end up with a lot of dead weight.

-Deborah Fike

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