A Key to Staying Relevant in Your Field

Do you want to stay relevant in your field? I’m sure you do. But the problem is that skills are becoming obsolete faster than ever. If you aren’t careful, your skills could also become obsolete.

Take my field of programming, for instance. Many of the tools that I learned to use just a few years ago are no longer in use today. I have to learn how to use many new tools. That shows the fast pace of the world we live in.

If you want to stay relevant, there is no other method than continuously upgrading yourself. You must keep your skills up-to-date. For that, you must be willing to pay the price of relearning. You must be willing to make the effort to learn new skills all over again.

That’s not easy, of course. Many people hesitate to do so, including myself. After all, I have made a lot of effort to master my current skills. Should I repeat the process yet again?

But – based on my observation – that’s precisely why the older generation could become irrelevant. It’s why they are pushed out by those below them.

I’ve experienced this first-hand. A few years ago, I was the new in my field. I was the person who “threatened” the generation above me. Now, however, I’m becoming part of the older generation, and now I’m the one who is threatened. The generation below me has a fresh set of skills while mine are becoming obsolete.

Realizing this situation made me aware that I had to pay the price of relearning. It also made me understand why so many people who are part of the older generation become irrelevant. The reason is that they don’t want to pay the price of relearning. They don’t want to repeat the process.

To make the process less painful, here is a tip: make learning a habit. Make it something that you do constantly. Even better, make it an adventure. Make it something that you have fun doing.

If you do that, not only will you stay relevant, but you will also enjoy the process.


Boost your personal growth with these resources.

Follow me on Twitter for interesting links and updates.

Photo by Thomas Leuthard


  1. Donald, so true. A phrase a former colleague used springs to mind – Keeping one page ahead in the manual. The point is that there are new skill sets but also gradual change where keeping upto date on the latest ideas and subtle shifts in how things are down is needed.

  2. I agree with you, you have to keep educating yourself to keep up. Most people think learn ends after you get a degree or certificate. Like they have it all then.

    But when things are constantly changing and evolving you need to stay a head of the curve. It’s probably the best way not to get left behind.


  3. Learn, learn and learn some more Donald. Smart tips!

  4. I agree!! Everything changes and so must we in order to keep up with progress! But, is there a way to use the “older” generation in another way? I am sure their experience is invaluable – perhaps they could occupy mentoring positions to help the youth that have the “appetite” for growth?

Comments are closed.