ABL – always be learning

I was reading a post on The Ladders the other day about the concept of the sun setting on YOU, in a career sense. It’s a concept I think about a lot, trying to keep up with the right new tools and trends in a world marked by nothing but shifting tools and trends. It’s one reason I so eagerly dive into new things. Take the documentary project, for example. My husband actually gets peeved when I explain to him that these side projects are “hard work.” To him, it looks like play. But to me, it’s part of how I stay competitive, constantly learning things. And everybody is hip to this need, so sometimes learning things that don’t appear directly related to one’s career are the things that differentiate you when the rubber meets the road.

Did my work on Going Cardboard teach me anything I could apply to my day job?  Why yes, sir, yes it did. I learned all about running a successful Kickstarter campaign, for example. Didn’t expect that to come in handy, until one of our language partners was running a Kickstarter of her own to fund their work on preserving the Balinese language. My boss, knowing I’d run my own Kickstarter, asked me to reach out and give her any tips I had learned.  Which I did, some pretty important ones, that helped lead to the successful funding of that project. This example also sort of flies in the face of keeping your personal life and your career life separate. I’ve also used the basic video editing knowledge I learned, helping pick up the slack when our video guy was swamped, and helping our freelance video bloggers with advice about applying subtitles and such.

But that was then, and this is now, and reading this Ladders article got me thinking, what would I like to learn next? I decided to check out Evernote and Snapchat.  These are interestingly contrasting platforms. Evernote is all about permanency, about making sure you always have the notes you jot down on your morning commute at your fingertips later on at whatever computer you may be at. Snapchat is all about being ephemeral, about sending images and chats that are purposefully temporary (though I’ve already seen some controversy about whether or not that actually holds true).  I picked Evernote partly because our CEO swears by it, but also because a recent Hubspot article mentioned using it to dictate a blog article when you’re on the go. I loved that idea, since I do have lots of good ideas for such things on my afternoon walks (which is why I take afternoon walks). I picked Snapchat because, well, that’s what all the kids are on these days. Facebook’s actually losing ground on the teen space, and Snapchat’s very popular with that same demographic. They view Facebook the way my generation originally viewed Linkedin, evidently, as a more stuffy less “fun” platform. Plus, their parents are on Facebook.  Which makes it instantly uncool. So I wanted to see what it was like.



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