Learning Deteriorates 20% per Year

Most of my great ideas come from my clients, and today’s is no exception.  One CEO that I work with mentioned to me that, in his view, skills and learning depreciate at a rate of 20% per year.

What that means for you is that the great training you took and the skill you learned five years ago is now table stakes; if you want to belly up to the bar in your profession and have a seat at the table, those five-year-old skills are now required by everyone.  They no longer give you an edge or make you special; you’re just one of the herd again.

Of all the times in the past century that a person could choose to coast into a cozy retirement at work, this is surely the worst.  Our world is going through immense upheaval that is going to affect millions of jobs.

People that will prosper through this time are those who upgrade their skills and work to get a little bit better at them each year.

Don’t let these changes paralyze you.  What’s required from you is actually tiny.

Better yourself this year in just one way.   Choose from this list:

  • Take a course
  • Sign up for a webinar
  • Learn a skill relevant to your job that people around you don’t have
  • Add one person per month to your network
  • Say yes to a job in your company that no one else wants to do
  • Download a podcast to listen to during your commute
  • Read 1 (good!) book and implement its ideas.  One.
  • Seek out a mentor
  • Develop a skill that a computer can’t do (i.e. something related to interacting with and helping another human being)

The people who will struggle are those who have done nothing for years.  They’ve just turned off the personal growth switch and switched on to autopilot.  They’re all around you.  Don’t be one of them!

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