Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year’s resolution.

I have never been a fan of the whole New Year’s resolution idea. Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. Multiple times in the past, I have tried to latch onto the idea and failed miserably. Not from lack of conviction or willpower but perhaps just from poor choices for my resolution. Therefore, this year I was trying to think of something I could make a real effort to fulfill. Something litigation support related which would enrich my career.

Then it dawned on me an area that often is over-looked in our industry. The use of applications and maintaining our proficiency with them. Everyone who uses a computer to conduct work knows how fast a skill set can vanish when not used on a regular basis. Sure, it can be likened to the bicycle adage but often that is just wishful thinking. In just a few updates or patches, you can be staring at an application, which looks very different.

Therefore, my resolution will be to delve back into my old friend Concordance. When still working as a litigation support analyst at a large Philadelphia law firm that was my main tool. Every day I was loading collections and managing databases in that application. Now after two years of consulting work my skills have become a tad rusty with my old friend. So I remain optimistic some of the old issues with irritated me with the software have been resolved.

With that in mind, I encourage anyone reading this blog to visit an old application and warm it up. Been a while since you worked with layers in Photoshop? Maybe you have not edited a load file using TextPad in ages. Whatever the application may be just remember the old adage use it or lose it rings very true in our industry. Often the distractions of our work take us away from education. Re-learning is just as important as learning something completely new.

In fact, self-enrichment and learning are what will keep your edge in the pirate waters of this economy. Setting aside time to maintain proficiency levels in a multitude of applications is imperative in this ever-evolving environment. Clients and colleagues are relying on us to maintain the technical expertise we have and to learn more. Consistent reading, a skill losing traction everyday, will assist with maintaining skill levels and education.

Some would argue to look forward in terms of technical education only. Things are changing rapidly in the technology world so perhaps some old skills are better left untouched. However, in most instances those old skills hover on the periphery of new skills. Moreover, it is those older skills, which may set you apart from the competition.


New Year's resolution. (2010, January 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

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