Your Technical Skills Are the Keys to Your Future

 “I’m sick of my job.”

That’s what a close friend said to me recently. I felt the heaviness in his tone. It basically sucked the life out of the room.

So I asked him, “What kind of job are you looking for?”

He told me he wanted something that paid well but didn’t involve anything related to technology. I threw out every idea I had, only to have it tossed to the ground like scrap wood.

Well, let’s just say it took everything in my power not to kick him out of my apartment. What else was I supposed to say? He asked an aspiring web developer for career advice that didn’t pertain to tech. Seriously?

The more I talked to him, the more I clearly saw that he didn’t have any technical skills. And his search was limited because of that. Then I realized this proficiency will either make or break you in this day and age.

Now I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the world we live in today is emersed in tech. It oozes from every crevice and corner of society, whether we want it to or not.

Some may argue that this is a bad thing. With more social connectivity over the “easy-everywhere” spectrum, people often feel more isolated from using social media — even outside the circumstances of a pandemic.

But others point to the positive effects of technology on propelling the world forward. The rise in income opportunities for people who want to work from home is unparalleled. And these opportunities wouldn’t exist without the programs and software that have been carefully crafted.

Technical skill is the ability to execute specific tasks efficiently. They usually include an understanding of something like a programming language, design software, or anything related to Information Technology. But they aren’t fixed in those parameters.

Regardless of where you fit in, everyone can benefit from having technical skills under their belt. These are a few reasons why they should matter to you.

Your chance to stand out

One of the best parts about having technical skills is setting yourself apart from those who don’t. You’ll be able to land jobs because of your knowledge about something specific and in-demand. Plus, you’ll have the confidence to get the job done when it’s needed most.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the prestigious school you graduate from or how many degrees you have: your working knowledge of the skill(s) required is all you need. But taking the time to practice at it and improve will definitely set you up for success in an emerging industry.

At the time of writing this, I’m diving deeper into the world of Python. It’s a programming language that allows you to develop pretty cool programs. Aside from the coding itself, I love how simple it is to use.

Even though there are others out there learning the same programming language, I can still write programs differently. It’s all a matter of creativity.

The lesson here is to do what most people aren’t willing to do. Branch out and challenge yourself in something that interests you. And don’t be afraid to fail at it.

Clinging to the growth mindset

What’s better than working for the most popular company in the world? Working for yourself.

I can care less how much cabbage you can get from a job, nothing satisfies quite like being your own boss. Granted, you need to know what you’re doing and have the vital component most people leave on their pillows each morning: a growth mindset.

This world is constantly changing. It’s updating apps every 20 minutes, fixing bugs, and tossing out newer, better ideas. I’m not saying you have to change who you are to fit in with the crowd. I’m saying you have to take improvement seriously if you want to stand out.

If you honestly believe there’s no room for improvement in your skillset, you’ll stagnate yourself to death.

That is to say, companies won’t keep you around long any longer than you can misspell your name.

The best advice I’ve ever gotten was from a person who told me to shoot for improvement every single day of my life. From that moment on, I gravitated closer to humility than at any other time. It keeps you focused and grounded on your need to get better instead of settle with where you are.

Cling to the growth mindset. It will change your life and make you a strong candidate for any job you’re willing to work hard on.

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Photo by Blake Connally on Unsplash

Opportunities are everywhere

As a person who’s drenched in the field of Information Technology, I am amazed at how many doors lay open for people to walk through. I mean, sure, you need a passion for technology and the ability to solve problems. But the opportunities are there for the taking.

The thing is: you don't even need school to live this reality.

Tons of people out there are self-taught [fill in the blank]s who challenged themselves to do more. And in doing so, they now live the lives they were staring at from afar.

Platforms like Udemy, CodeAcademy, Udacity, and Skillshare are just a few of the sources to set you on a rewarding path. Many of them charge pennies in comparison to student loan debt millions of people are dreading right now.

I hear a lot of people talking about how technology is stealing jobs from millions of workers. But it’s actually creating new ones. In fact, employment in the tech industry accounts for about 10% of the nation’s economy.

If you think about it, machines can’t do anything on their own. It takes a team of engineers to craft the complicated algorithms and details necessary for them to function. It takes brains and bodies working together to build something everyone can find valuable.

In other words, it takes people.

That is why I’m writing this: so that readers like you will see why it’s important to have (and develop) technical skills.

Learning something new

It’s not about where you are right now. It’s all about the direction you’re heading in and the steps you’re taking to reach your goal(s). Sometimes — scratch that, most of the time — that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Every day I make an effort to do that very thing. I challenge myself to grow in whatever I’m doing. And if you take yourself seriously, you will too.

Maybe it’s time you learn something new. Expand your skillset and see where it takes you. Substitute leisure for something that will pay you back later.

I guarantee you’ll thank yourself later.

Kevin Horton is a student, modest book-worm, and aspiring web developer with a new-found love for writing. He writes helpful words about creativity, productivity, and the enjoyably simple life.

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