Maybe old dogs and new tricks don’t go together so well after all

As part of my job search – or, as I like to call it, my career advancement – plan, I’ve been watching some professional learning videos on sites like Lynda.com. They’ve been well done, informative and educational.

But they’ve also pointed out the need for more education and learning, if I want to pursue jobs in a certain direction. In my case, videos on SEO and web design both ended with several recommendations on next steps. Naturally, many of those steps were to watch more Lynda.com videos. But to really learn and know what you need to be a competitive candidate among hundreds of applicants, I think it would take more than that.

I’ve always considered myself a lifelong learner. After college, I took several courses, attended seminars, won a couple of fellowships and tried to take advantage of all the learning opportunities I could through job-related training at each of my career stops. In nearly all cases, they helped me become a better writer and employee.

But after viewing both of the videos I mentioned, I knew I still needed to learn more.  Most of that is likely age-related. I’m plenty of years past the traditional age of a college student, have a lot of work and life experience I’ve learned from over the years and believe all that should make me an appealing employment candidate for any position.

I realize the competition for each position is so much tougher than when I started my career. Especially in a fast growing region like the Front Range of Colorado where I live, there are so many people moving in to swell the ranks of those seeking a job that pays well. That’s part of the reason to learn something new that can help level the playing field, right?

Still, in both these cases, the motivation to learn just isn’t very strong. Partly because I am under consideration for a technical writing position that would give me a chance to learn new skills, become familiar with new software programs that could come in handy and be working for a company that has a positive reputation.

So if I do land that job, I would add to my education and career skills. That’s what I want, so maybe I’m holding off other learning opportunities until this one is resolved. Whatever the reason, it’s a little unsettling when something you’ve always enjoyed, benefited from and promoted to others doesn’t seem to offer the same advantages.

Or maybe I just haven’t found a new skill that excites and intrigues me to the point of acquiring more knowledge about it. The subjects are interesting, but neither one seems to be something I can solidly grasp and benefit from without what seems like a disproportional effort.

It’s hard to put into words. I guess if I bottom line it, maybe it’s just a change in priorities. And that can be a good thing, too.

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