In my daily social media browsing, an image of the Old Chicago Main Post Office building came up in my feed. The post noted the following:
…Old Chicago Main Post Office Building [was known] as the ‘largest post office building in the world’ with 2,309,000 square feet of floor space. It could handle 35,000,000 letters and 500,000 sacks of papers and parcels daily. Underneath the building, 125 trains daily brought mail in and out for processing
That’s a really impressive amount of mail. No doubt it was a herculean feat to be able to handle all of this mail.
While this was amazing for its day, this post office is now a landmark. It’s a landmark for a reason. We don’t send nearly as much mail today.
For comparison sake, I found that in 2017 we were sending about 269 billion emails per day worldwide. It’s not the perfect comparison since we’re comparing a city’s post office to the world, but needless to say the world has changed. Email is the defacto standard for communication, not snail mail.
While this example is obvious, there are a lot of non-obvious areas of our careers where we have’t embraced new technologies or developed new skills that keep up with the times. Not updating your skills and embracing the future is a risky place to be and may leave you like the post office pictured above: a landmark from the past.
Some of these areas might be understanding cybersecurity or data science. Others might be embracing social media. For some of you it might be using a cell phone (Although, my guess is it probably isn’t people reading this blog). How many of you are well versed on voice assistants? They’re coming. Are you ready for them? Will that be a requirement for future healthcare jobs?
Colin Hung recently did a great post on “Assessing the Skills We Have & Acquiring the Skills We Need.” While the post is focused on marketing professionals, the principle applies equally well to health IT professionals. Here’s an excerpt of his post:
Right after the New Year, I try to set aside time to do a personal skills audit. I do this because I am paranoid about becoming a Marketing dinosaur – stuck with archaic skills that won’t help me thrive in the current environment. A personal career goal of mine is to always learn new things, acquire new skills.
Are you becoming a Health IT dinosaur? If you are, step back and embrace the idea that you can learn new skills. There’s no age limit on learning. Take the leap and try something new. You’ll be surprised at how beneficial it wil be to you personally and professionally.