How can an old dog learn new technologies?

Can an old dog learn new technologies?Can an old dog learn new technologies?

The number one skill I find among my most successful clients and partners is they are all great at dealing with change. There are only three constants we have to deal with as people; death, taxes, and change. I have clients who are trying to change the rules on death and taxes. They are creating some amazing technologies. No one has come up with an answer on how to eliminate change from our lives.

So today we talk about how life changes and, sometimes, remains the same. I’ve been interviewing for a new role in my career. I haven’t interviewed for over eight years. I was hoping it was like riding a bike; you get on and just keep peddling. But things change and hiring and interviewing is changing too. Learning how to change with the times is critical to having a more fulfilling life. Let me share three separate stories and ask you what you might do in these situations.

The first story is you’re interviewing for a great new role with a long term client, a client that you helped build during their early stages and have kept up with through their business rise to the top of their field.  The interviewer asked me what happened in information technology between 1998 and 2000.  What is a tech bubble and why did it burst? How would you answer it? After providing a brief explanation, the interviewer says “I don’t remember that happening when I was back in junior high school.”

What do you say to the client who wanted you to go through their interview process? Why are you not interested in the position? How do you share with a client that their people are missing certain key knowledge and skills that will be required to recruit and build their new strategic account team?

The second story, you’re interviewing with a great organization. They are doing many amazing things with many of the technologies you helped to create many years ago. You finally get to the senior level person in the interview process. You are both in rapport. He even shares that there might be a different role available for you on his team. Everything is going great.

You call your former client, whom you will now be working with as a channel partner, since you worked with many of their key people before. Who would be a better reference than having the company’s partner, people you worked with before, giving you a good reference? You know this is a great client and they loved your work because they hired you over and over in your consulting career.

You get a call from their recruiting leader who asks you for your birthday so they can set up travel plans for you to fly out for a meeting with their leadership team.  Then you never hear back from them. They don’t return calls or emails.  It’s like they disappeared!  What do you say when their partner, one of your best clients, the one you almost named you child after, asks when you think you’ll be starting. Can’t wait to work with you again. What do you say to the client?

Now for the third story.  Have you ever gotten a message on a social platform that seems too good to be true?  You know you’re one of a thousand people getting this message.  And it sounds like a fantastic promise. You don’t invest a lot of time because, if you followed all of these leads, you’d never get any real work done.

What do you do when a new friend on LinkedIn tells you he’s doing incredible work in emerging technologies and that I might find it interesting work. He tells me I should look into it. Turns out, he was right.  I look into it, and it is interesting work.  I start sharing what I learn on my many different social platforms and my phone starts ringing off the hook. I even get invited out to a former partner’s conference to see and share what I learn with our many readers around the world, many whose work is focused on growing their organizations.  This is called learning by swimming at the deep end of the pool. Now I am immersed in the field again.

I’m always amazed by how small the world is. I live in the middle of Amish country in Northern Ohio. This provides me plenty of time to use social selling and business development between doing the chores, although I don’t do as many chores as my neighbors! I can still build a global network, even in the middle of nowhere, sitting at my great-great-grandfather’s desk.

I’ve been around the block a time or two.  The younger people I talk with make that very clear when they don’t know about tech bubbles bursting. Some tell you to use current technologies to find your own position description on the Internet for one of the 154 positions they have open with the same title and different position descriptions. I’m still learning and growing, though.

What I would ask you is can you teach an old dog new technologies? 

Over the next several weeks, I will be on the road at several conferences and many meetings throughout the Midwest and the East Coast learning about how new technologies impact our families, friends, and communities.  What do you want to know about predictive analytics, big data, and the Industrial Internet of Things? Talk about a hype filled sentence! But is it? You can find my original article discussing these advanced technologies at Are You Ready for Digital Disruption in Your Markets?

Drop me a line with your questions. I will be sharing what I learn from my newest technology adventure, because I believe sometimes old dogs are the best people to share new tricks!

See you next week.

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