This past week I received multiple resumes from individuals seeking clerical work. The resume that stood out to me stated in the overview section “I value personal and professional development.” The individual desires part-time work because of her online course work in “Software Engineering.”

The resume shows no prior work in the field of study. I was impressed that she values personal development and is taking action to learn and grow in her field of choice.

This leads me to ask the question, “What are you developing?” Too often, we find ourselves in a job that we enjoy, pays well, allows us to work from home, and we become comfortable. We’ve done it so long we feel we can do it for the rest of our careers.

The problem with this philosophy is when you become comfortable, you begin to coast. The only way to coast is downhill.

You don’t have to look back very far to see how quickly things can change! Last year at this time you could not go into a bank with a mask on. Today, you can’t go in without one. Last year you could eat in restaurants. Today, in California, you cannot.

I have a close friend that spent twelve years reading meters for Pacific, Gas and Electric. He enjoyed his job, his co-workers, and his monthly routes. Life was great until someone invented “smart meters” and almost overnight, his job was eliminated. He was lucky, his employer offered retraining and job placement in another role.

When I was in high school, I worked at full-service gas stations, going out to greet customers as they pulled in. I would wash windows, pump the gas, check the oil, and tire pressure if needed. All those jobs are gone today. The same can be said with countless other jobs.

In California, bridge toll takers are still not on the job due to the pandemic. Toll charges are now being collected by mail. The cost of postage is much cheaper than the salaries of toll takers. Texas and other states eliminated those positions years ago. I would surmise California will likely make those jobs obsolete as well.

Regardless of your industry, you should be making a personal effort to stay up with your skills and develop new ones. We never know when an industry will diminish or go away. In California, the governor has signed legislation to ban the sale of gas-powered automobiles by 2035. How will that affect auto mechanics? How about gas station owners? They will have to learn new skills or sell new products.

Ask yourself, what will you do if your industry goes away? Imagine working as a toll taker for 15-20 years. You know there will always be cars and there will always be bridges, so your career is safe, right?

The phone company used to have pay phones. There were numerous jobs for repairing pay phones.

While jobs and entire industries come and go, the need to put food on the table; the need to clothe your family; the need to contribute, never goes away. As the world continues to change at exponential speed, your ability to change must keep up or you will be left behind.

With the elimination of jobs and industries comes the creation of new jobs in new industries. The sudden and sometimes permanent changes brought on by this pandemic has put industry leaders on notice of just how quickly things can change. Oftentimes the speed of adaptability determines the life of a business.

One only must look at the Kodak Film Company to see how a leader in an industry, slow to change from film to digital, caused it to go bankrupt. Its turnaround is still suspect at best. The Swiss Watch company felt watches without hands (digital) would never catch on. Their failure to see the future cost them 60% of their market share.

In my consulting practice, I am helping businesses to become “learning organizations.” In these environments, everyone is focused on learning from everything they do. They learn from their results, good and bad, to improve their performance. The value of continuous learning is driven and modeled from the top down. Everyone must realize that continuous learning is expected and will be rewarded.

In a learning organization, everyone is in the loop. Communication is open, everyone feels safe in sharing as all results are lessons to learn from. Energy levels are higher. People enjoy coming to work. Those not willing to learn, become uncomfortable in the environment and eventually leave.

Whether you are in a learning organization or not, you cannot leave your future to chance. You must take responsibility for your own learning. There are numerous online courses from accounting to leadership to software and everything in between. YouTube is another valuable resource for learning skills.

Strive for continual learning. Be sure to spend as much time on education as you do on entertainment.

Remember, there is greatness within you. You must choose greatness. It won’t develop on its own. I believe in you!

“It’s never too late to learn something new. It’s always too late to wait.”

Take Action Today!

If you would like assistance with your development plan, I can help you. We can meet by phone, on Zoom, or in a place you deem safe with social distancing. Whether you choose me or someone else, a coach will expedite your results.

If you found value in this article, please like and share. You never know who else in your network may find it valuable. Thank you!

I appreciate you. I know your time is limited and I hope you receive value in reading my posts. 

I also invite you to connect with me. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, by email at  [email protected]  or through my website at Thank you!  

I always look forward to your thoughts and replies.

Published by Bryan M. Balch, Results Coach

Helping Individuals and Businesses Achieve Desired Results

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