Archive: Every career is a high-tech career – February 17, 2006

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It has been coming for a long time, but I think it is finally here. Every job and every career in America is now a high-tech career. It is impossible to ignore technology no matter what your position. Whether you are a corporate CEO or a security guard, technology is now an intimate part of your work. More importantly, now that technology has found its way into every job, everyone needs to recognize and accept this fact. Avoiding technology and refusing to learn about it is no longer an option. Considering yourself incapable is no longer an option. If you want to move forward in your career, regardless of the work you do, you have to embrace technology and make it your own. If you continue to avoid it, ignore it or distain it, you will see you career whither.

Some already know this

The truth is, any good high-tech careerist already knows what is happening. They have been living with technology for years. That doesn’t mean they have always embraced it, though. Even those of us who decide to dive into the high-tech world can sometimes find ourselves rebelling against it. This is especially true whenever we feel that technology is pushing us rather than leading us. No one likes to be pushed around, but technology can do just that. Sometimes changes are so far reaching and so dramatic that we are swept along with the tide. The only answer to this, though, is to be constantly engaged in “riding” the bucking bronco that is technology. It is only by facing technology that we can hope to gain its many benefits.

Those workers who are just now finding themselves thrust into the high-tech world should take some basic guidance from those of us who have been there for a while. First, your ability to learn and knowledge you acquire are everything. In the coming years you will need to learn more than you have learned in your entire career. While some careers move slowly and steadily, technology can introduce changes that happen overnight. You may know everything there is to know about doing your job today, but new systems and new software can transform your job. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your knowledge is obsolete, only that there is so much more to learn.

An Example

Take the role of security guard. The basic tenets of security have been long established. You control physical access to buildings and rooms, monitor access points and check identification. Now, though, you need to understand magnetic card readers, biometric scanners, DVR technology, Internet-accessible video monitoring, PC and network management and much more. Technology has introduced an entirely new aspect into the well-established security realm. You have to adapt these new aspects or, despite your expertise, you will fail at this newly added facet of your career.

Is this frightening? Of course. No one likes to feel they have somehow fallen behind the times, but a career is a living thing. It grows and changes from day to day. No matter how much you might wish it, any career that does not change is stagnant and in danger of being lost.

Embrace, embed and enjoy

My biggest advice to all careerists is to find ways to embrace technology and its effects on your career; embed technology into your lives so it becomes an integral part of your work and finally, enjoy all the benefits that technology can bring to you and your work.

You can’t do this, though, by avoiding technology or pretending it does not effect you. You can’t rely on the IT personnel or computer consultants to handle your technology tasks anymore. You are now a high-tech worker, like all the rest. Technology isn’t just a hulking computer in an air-conditioned room anymore. Technology is here, in your hand, on your desk and in your home. You don’t just work with technology, you live with it every single day.

Regardless of the work you do, every job , every career is now a high-tech career. There is no escaping this reality or the consequences this brings. As the 21st Century progresses technology will continue to be part of our lives. Embrace it. Bend it to your will. Work against any negative effects that arise, but do not ignore it. Otherwise, you may find that you won’t have any career at all.

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