I have a three year old daughter; she is naughty, defiant, heart-achingly sweet and highly intelligent. I put a lot of this down to genetics (if I do say so myself) but most of it down to her exposure to different situations and experiences. Plus I am the daughter of an English Teacher and a Solicitor, both of which love and adore the written word and have a wall full of books. Every time they visit they bring a new book for her to read; each carefully and thoughtfully chosen ensuring just the right amount of rhyme, alliteration and descriptive text. Historically I was an avid reader, mostly fictional crime however these days I struggle for time (mind you, in the last week I have ripped through “Fifty Shades of Grey” like a Great White on a Tuna Fish). I am doing my best to encourage her to continue to read books but it just isn’t happening, because the iPad is the new favourite toy. Every time she sees it she has to have it and now I have to hide it from her. However, it wasn’t until I actually sat down and played with her that I realised I was putting the iPad in the same box as a Sega Master System or Nintendo; mind-numbing computer games that cause more fights between siblings than anything else on the planet. But how I was mistaken…
She reads interactive books, she plays alphabet games, she is learning to spell and count, she is learning right from left, and she has downloaded (of her own volition) a Spanish app and is now developing her Spanish skills outside of Dora the Explorer. This got me thinking about the way the world is going in terms of technology and social media.
If we do not change the way we think and work we will be left behind. Why continue to push Miss 3 into books if in ten years time she is so far behind all her peers that she cannot keep up with them in high school? We are moving to a paperless society where data is effectively its own currency and where you can just about find anyone you need to across the globe just by clicking a few buttons on LinkedIn or Facebook. What once was a successful advertising and media strategy for a business is not the case anymore. Let’s take recruitment for example. The CareerOne lift out in the Career Mail has decreased in size. It is not just about having a website any more; you absolutely do need a website but you also need a Facebook page, a LinkedIn group and Myspace account. Blogging has risen with the force of a thousand men as has Twitter and Skype. And let me assure all you sceptics out there of one thing: PEOPLE READ BLOGS. You might not think they do because you don’t read them yourself, but blogs get read. Yammer (an internal social media tool of businesses) has now come on the scene to make it easier for inter-office communication. If we don’t jump on board we will be left behind. This led me to my next thought…
At the age of three, this little girl is so willing to try new things and is up for any challenge. It is psychologically proven that every child/toddler wants to succeed and wants to be a “good boy or girl” and wants Mummy and Daddy to be proud of him/her. I turned my thought to the employment market and then to the challenges we are facing a present. It’s a tough world out there at the moment and we all need to buck up and get stuck in. Don’t like an element of your role? That’s fine but at least give it a red hot go, you might surprise yourself. Is your Boss driving new initiatives in your workplace that are way out of your comfort zone that you really don’t want to do? You need to ask yourself:
“How ‘old’ am I?”
Are you still at a professional “age” where you want to try new things, are excited to learn and keen to tackle this challenging market head on? Or are you at an “age” where you know it all, stuck in your ways and don’t want to change with the market conditions, social media and technology? Are you past your “used by” date in your chosen profession? Only you can answer this question, and answer it honestly. The more you expose yourself to different things, the more you will experience and the more you will succeed.
There is a direct correlation with the amount of activities Miss 3 has been exposed to and the amount of knowledge and skills she has acquired; it’s not rocket science. She is a successful little girl who is ready to take on the world. Now this isn’t about telling you all how great I think my kid is because let’s face it, she can be as feral as she is smart. So I challenge you to ask yourself the question. It might just make you grow up.
Deanna Keating – Team Leader