Using Social Media to Expand Your Tech Savvy
Looking for employment? You need to stay on top of the relevant technology. You need to be tech savvy.
Sometimes it mat feel as though everything you learned in college is outdated by now, even if you only graduated a year ago. The biggest mistake that you can make is to lean on your education or what you already know to get creative and interactive jobs. This is what dooms us; it's what makes us unapproachable dinosaurs.
When computers first entered the workplace, older employees who didn't quite have the seniority to stick around regardless often found themselves out of a job because they simply couldn't adapt. Well, although every new development that happens these days may not be quite as major as the introduction of computers to the workplace, the developments that do come do so at a much more intense pace, and that pace is picking up every day.
The best way to approach the ever-increasing tech demands at the job is not to even try to be an expert, but to approach the field as a student. Always assume that someone knows more than you, that there's more to know, that you can't get complacent if you want to remain employable.
Now, this sounds like having two full time jobs, working as a student half the time and as a full-time designer or writer or what have you for the rest. Luckily, social media can help you stay on top of things without having to sacrifice every waking hour of your life to the job. Here are a few tips:
1. Follow Some Industry-Specific Tech Pages
You can't keep up with it all, so don't even try, but if you're a 3D modeler, say, then you're going to need to follow the Facebook pages for all of your favorite tools from Photoshop to Blender, and you're going to want to keep a few good tutorial pages on your feed. Spend just an hour a day checking out those Facebook links and you'll find it relatively easy to keep up with your field.
2. Make Friends in the More Techy Area of Your Community
Say you're the graphic designer on the team, so you maybe spend more time with the marketing guys than with the IT guys and the programmers. Well, don't you think that those guys have something to teach you that you don't already know? You don't learn by hanging out with people who have a 90% overlap in terms of interests and abilities with yourself. You learn by hanging out with people who specialize in something that you don't. Learn from the tech savvy members of your community.
3. Learning by Context
Having a few friends in the techier areas of your field can tip you off to new developments. Having a lot of techy friends can help you more fully understand those new developments. Anytime something confuses you, add a few more friends, ask a few more questions and join a few more communities.
4. Click Those Links
When your most successful programmer friend posts a link to a great article on the new Macbook, or they link to a lecture on developing tech that's relevant to your duties, click it! It won't hurt you. There's a lot of information out there to wade through, and you should take advantage of the fact that some of your online friends are able to curate it for you and link you directly to the most useful and relevant information.
Essentially, modern tech is a culture all its own, and you learn a culture by being a part of it. Join the tech savvy community, contribute to it, and take from it as you need. Sites such as Twitter, Quora, and Facebook make learning tech a lot easier than you might expect.
Gilbert S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.
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