by Dan Balow
One of the favorite things I do each month is to get together with three friends to talk about life and work. We meet for breakfast and share what we are doing. All of us are Christ followers and have known each other for many years. We discuss issues related to the changing world of communications as all four are involved in various aspects of the media.
For example, I recall one day that we discussed how bad news has much more velocity than good news in social media. One of the breakfast gurus mentioned an event he was involved in promoting where comments were being posted on social media during the event, by the participants. (It was a very large race…no idea how people on racing bicycles can be Tweeting) We then discussed how public relations used to be a process of spinning a story and getting media to cover it in manner you wanted. Now, negative comments seem to take on a life of their own before we know it.
Each month the subject is different, mostly unplanned, but always interesting and always challenging.
Each generation, there is an important skill to be practiced that is a key to working successfully. I recall many years ago when personal computers came on the scene and thinking that I was really happy that I took a typing class in high school. Now, the schools call it “keyboarding”, but the QWERTY keyboard is as important to every job today as good handwriting was a couple generations ago.
So what is the critical skill for today? I believe it is continually learning new things. Call it being a life-long learner.
A comment that was reserved as a quaint compliment for a person who takes a class at the local junior college when they are 70 years old is now a critical skill for work-survival at all ages. If you are not learning something every week of your life, you are in jeopardy of becoming irrelevant.
I have a challenge for you. Make a regular effort to learn something new about the media in which we work. Do a little every day or week, but do it.
We gather in small groups to study Scripture, so why not use that same model to regularly gather in a small group to discuss writing, publishing, reading and changes in the media?
Do it for your work and craft. At the end of each week, you should be able to identify something new you learned. And most importantly, just like we need to take the head-knowledge from a Bible study and apply it to life…create an action plan to act on it.
What new thing did you learn last month?