Once you stop learning, your career starts to die

Working in IT is hard. Not to say I do not enjoy what I do, but working in a field that is constantly growing and evolving also means you have to grow and evolve with it, or else you die. Not to say you literally croak, but your skills will eventually become obsolete. Employers will not need what you can do, and will have no reason to hire you. Maybe not in a year or 5, but the clock begins to tick when you mentally check out of learning and evolving.

I find the older I get, the more difficult keeping up is. I don’t have the same amount of free time anymore outside of work to spend tinkering with new toys. I have a wife, a one-year-old. A home to take care of. Adult responsibilities. Still, I try to make time for learning new things like a cloud platform or programming language. In my mind, this is the only way to stay alive in your career.

If I were to offer any advice to new graduates entering my field, it would be to never stop learning. Keep adding stuff to your mental tool belt that you can use. Azure. AWS. Python. SQL. Linux. Hadoop. Keep going and going. Read articles. Talk to peers. Look at job boards to see what skills are in need. Keep yourself relevant. If you find you just don’t have the time or passion to keep learning. Change your field or your job or both.

The one thing you should fear more than anything else while working in IT is becoming obsolete. Don’t become a VHS or CD player. Keep constantly reinventing yourself.

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