Survival means becoming a lifelong learner

7, 2021

7 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The first job I had as a graduate was as a journalist for a newspaper in Mexico City. I was proud, but soon realized that I lacked certain skills that I was going to need.

He had theoretical and some practical knowledge, but he did not know much about social networks, or digital writing models, for example. I had to learn it very quickly and, if I was always a geek, now I had the excuse: to differentiate myself, I had to continue studying.

Today and, even more so, the future, requires people who are willing to be lifelong learners and learners . Moreover, for those who want to grow, stand out, differentiate themselves and move up the food chain, they must be aware that if they do not train they are destined to be professionally forgotten.

Study what you like. And then learn.

I studied communication because I wanted to dedicate myself to radio, the second reason, like almost all humanists, is that I was afraid of mathematics. I studied a specialty in Institutional Communication that has helped me to expand my income. Anyway, I was a reporter for a printed newspaper, but there was a cool thing called the internet that, the medium for which I worked, did not think it was relevant. I resigned and went to one of the first digital media in the country.

I learned about analytics, social networks and CMS. They taught me a lot there, but I had to become self-taught. I wanted a master’s degree and I was accepted into an international journalism degree in Europe. But a friend, mentor, and teacher told me to study something that would help me expand my vision. So I ended up in an MBA and, although I was shying away from math, now I know finance, accounting, and some operations.

I continued in the media after the MBA, but that profile of a journalist with management was very attractive to various media that I had the opportunity to lead. But managing and editing is not enough, to lift them I had to learn SEO. In addition, I was instructed in digital campaigns from Google and Facebook .

What I’m going to is that degrees are necessary, but they are no longer enough to ask for an entry job. For example, to be part of a team it is an imminent requirement to know SCRUM, Kanban or some other methodology that the university does not teach you. Anyone can be self-taught with this, really.

To apply for a job as a marketing analyst in an agency, they already ask for the Google Ads intermediate certification. You can learn it too, but you must want to. If you want to work in a digital medium, in addition to having good spelling, it would be very good if you know SEO, can interpret analytics and have knowledge of some programming to do visual storytelling.

The sad thing is that there are more and more graduates, and the occasional kid, who have gone through this situation. Why? The answer is simple: any industry advances much faster than university curricula can.

And learn more

One of the things I like the most about Design Thinking is that you work with different people, with different careers and different views of the world. So when you put all of that in a blender, you get a whole host of options to bring the best of all together into something new and innovative.

Being a specialist in something can be very good, but the future needs adaptable, alternative profiles that know a lot to be able to integrate provocative solutions.

The reality is that the present, but the future with more anxiety, needs one man armies in each collaborator. The strategy that we follow in the MediaLab that I lead is to teach kids interested in the media to be just that: all media specialists.

The vast majority know how to write well and do research to make a note or report, but they also take photos, edit audio, produce videos and edit what you ask of them. That will be, without a doubt, an asset when applying for a job.

Thinking ahead is thinking that each person should be like a table discussing a design thinking project: to offer an interesting and revealing solution you must have different options to compare and put together. And for that, you must learn on your own and have them yourself.

You already studied what you wanted (I hope). Now you can do your critical path, and it is not a vision board, it is to establish one of two things: where you want to go and then you start to study what the next position would need; Or, you decide what you want to study and see where that takes you. Personally, I lean towards the second idea, but do it, study. Learn. And learn more.

Dear Steve Jobs already said it in his famous Stanford speech: connect the dots and you will see where all that can take you.

Learn to unlearn

As a teacher, I teach transmedia at different levels and on several occasions some master’s graduates, and even undergraduates, have told me that they are not allowed to apply what they have learned in their jobs.

Someday you will be, or even already are, in a position of power (it does not matter if it is a management, direction or leadership) and you will be able to say no to something “because it has not been done that way”, “because it is different” or because of the reason you want. Just because something has worked does not mean that it will always do so, think of the big television stations, today they are producing for streamers because few consume them as before.

One thing that is discovered by being a lifelong learner is that nothing is forever, and what you once learned will probably not be very useful later on, and you will have to learn to unlearn it to stay current.

Now, go and study that course that you have always wanted and that people tell you no because it is useless. Me, now I’m going for the architecture one. Or industrial design. Or programming.

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