Man with laptop

We're All Beginners Again Eventually

... being a beginner again could be the best thing that ever happened to you.

If you're in the tech industry you know exactly what I'm talking about. You can have 5 years of hard earned experience under your belt when a new technology or framework comes and completely replaces all of your current knowledge. This is both terrifying and freeing. You can’t stop change. You can’t avoid the consequences of not staying up to date. You can take advantage of it.

Some of the biggest financial successes of all time have happened during the worst financial periods. Huge stock market crashes are often the best time to buy. When the housing market is collapsing, go buy a house. Many successful people use this strategy with one goal in mind, the "long-game". I mean the one that people remember you for when you're dead, your legacy. Humans are usually pretty bad at planning super far into the future with any real accuracy. If we were better at it, there would be a lot less uncertainty in life. However, this can be a great opportunity if you know where to look.

Here's an example that I think will prove my point. Let's take a look at a brand new developer interviewing for a job where several other more experienced developers are also interviewing. If they're looking for someone with lots of experience in the types of things those other seasoned developers have been doing, the new developer might not have much of a shot at getting hired. However, something happens quite often in the tech industry that can really put the odds in his favor. Things change quickly. If the company doing the hiring is looking for someone who is familiar with a brand new technology or technique, there's a good chance that all of the developers are beginners at it. The new developer might even have the edge because he or she doesn't have the old "bad habits" to break in order to speed up their learning of this brand new thing. Now, you could argue that the seasoned developers have more overall experience, which could translate into a better overall employee, and you might be right, but you can't be certain.

Now for all you seasoned professionals out there starting to panic at the thought of some kid taking your job, don't panic yet. The greatest thing about change is that it doesn't usually care where you are right now; it only cares about where you're going. Can a developer of 20 years become an expert on the very latest technologies available? Absolutely! This applies to all industries. You don't want to just be successful you want to stay successful! You have to put in the work. Research your industry. Find out what trends are just around the corner and start learning that. There are some things you can't buy or fake in this world, and one of them is hard work. If you're willing to think outside the box and let go of the old you as needed, you can't be stopped. With the right attitude being a beginner again could be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Back to archives