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why you should always be learning something new

By: Jade Jensen

The world is constantly changing. 10 years ago the first smart phones were being released, mobile apps were beginning to surface, and you couldn’t talk to a small little device named Alexa to order all your groceries for the month. Imagine how *little* time has passed, but how *much* technology has progressed.

Whether we like it or not, we can’t deny that technology plays an intricate role in our daily lives.

That being said, it’s important that we adapt to these changes and move forward—or else be left in the dark. Just look at the world of retail since the introduction of these technologies. Those who adapted and embraced the change are thriving, compared to the Sears or K-Marts of the retail world who are looking for means of surviving.

The same is true of people.

Those who adapt and change are more likely to find success. According to a CNBC article, artificial intelligence and robots will be displacing more than 75 million jobs, BUT creating over 133 million new job opportunities in the next 5 years. It’s not that we should be afraid of the technology, but rather be flexible enough to endure those changes so we can transition into the new job roles created. That’s why you should always be learning. Because tomorrow, you may wake up to discover you’re being replaced by a machine.

Working at a software company means regularly working with new technology and continuously learning to keep up. In the last 2 years of working at appsky, I’ve learned a great deal about design, software development, and business operations that a Masters and undergraduate degree never gave me. The fact of the matter is you learn by doing.

There are several ways to continue learning that don’t require a significant amount of effort on your end. Life alone shows us that learning comes in a variety of forms.

  1. Podcasts:
  2. Recently, I discovered the incredible world of podcasts. What’s neat about podcasts is that there are so many different types. Below are my personal favorites:

    NPR’s Planet Money

    This podcast provides an interesting spin on the economics of the things around you. The episodes are usually 20–25 minutes each, which is perfect for a morning commute or while you get ready in the morning. A few of my favorite episodes are The Tale of the Onion King, Big Government Cheese, and Why Did The Cow Cross The Border

    NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz

    In this podcast, Guy Raz interviews different founders of popular companies that exist today. This is one of the best podcasts to listen to for those with the entrepreneurial mind. You get an inside perspective of how (now successful) businesses began + the trials and tribulations they underwent to make their business into what it is today, some of which include LinkedIn, Wayfair, Lyft, Stripe, Zappos, Patagonia, and more!

    WSJ What’s News

    There is so much happening in the news, that it can be hard to keep up—and it can take a lot of time to know everything that’s happening—which is why I enjoy this podcast. Twice a day, the Wall Street Journal provides a morning and nightly 10-minute episode that highlights all of the key news pieces for that day.

  3. Reading:
  4. It’s obvious. Reading can provide you with new knowledge and insight; improve your memory, writing, and analytical skills; and reduce stress. There are so many benefits of reading, the question is, why wouldn’t you read? Listed below are some of my favorite books that relate to business and self-improvement.

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***

    This is the most recent book I’ve read and probably the fastest I’ve read through a book in a while. In short, Mark Manson tells you how to focus your time and energy on what really matters and how to stop caring about the meaningless things in your life. To me, it was refreshing to take a step back and think about the things in my life that are wasting my time and aren’t providing any real value.

    How To Win Friends and Influence People

    Dale Carnegie’s book is popular amongst business people for obvious reasons—it helps your communication skills! This thoughtfully written book takes you through the basic methods to get people to like you. It seems silly to think about, but sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we need a reminder about how to communicate effectively with others.

  5. People:
  6. For me, I learn best from those around me. People are valuable, and you can learn a lot from those around you. Nothing is better than learning from someone about something they’re passionate about.

    Although books are great sources of knowledge, sometimes talking to a person for even an hour can provide you with more knowledge than five books combined.

  7. Online Resources:
  8. We live in the age of technology with an unlimited amount of information at our fingertips. It’s as easy as using Google to type in a few words regarding something you’re curious about. The other day, I was talking with my friend about my love for Dirty Chai Tea Lattes, and how I knew there was about 20 grams of sugar in a small, but didn’t know what that *really* meant. So we Googled it.

    Turns out, 4.2 grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar, meaning I was consuming about 5 teaspoons of sugar through a small cup of my favorite drink. Since learning that, I’ve cut down my almost daily coffee shop visits to once a week. This goes to show that when you learn something, it benefits you, and for me, that meant recognizing the harmful things I’m putting in my body.

    But that’s just one example. From working with software developers, I know that means spending hours on the computer each day typing in lines of code, and from time-to-time, figuring out how to make things work. I also know that if I ever want to learn how to program, there are a million resources online for me to find, practice, and ultimately learn how to build something out of code.

    You can also learn by taking online courses for specific skills (like the basics of HTML & CSS). When I started learning HTML, I found a great course online through Udemy and was able to learn the basics through a series of simple videos.

So I think it’s safe to say, the more you know, the easier it is to communicate and relate to other people around you.

Learning allows you to challenge yourself and find new interests that can lead you into a new passion. Teaching yourself new skills also makes you more valuable and harder to replace in any job. It helps you teach others what to do, improves your efficiency, and even makes your life easier.
Why You Should Always Be Learning Something New

Jade Jensen is appsky’s Chief Operations Officer

She is the glue that holds all of appsky together. Jade is a fantastic team leader who is an expert at communication & project management.

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