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Published on March 30, 2021

6 Reasons Why Taking Up Digital Skills And Knowledge Is Crucial

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6 Reasons Why Taking Up Digital Skills And Knowledge Is Crucial

Digital technology has forever transformed every aspect of modern life and will continue to do so. No matter our age or disposition, we may as well admit that we’ll need to acquire new digital skills for the rest of our lives.

It may be that part of our ambivalence toward technology stems from the fact that many of us have to learn digital skills on top of staying current in our chosen fields. Whenever frustration grows to a boiling point, it’s often because it feels as if technology is getting in the way of what we want to accomplish.

When it seems like technology is slowing things down where it promised to speed them up, it’s time to step back and ask, “is the problem with the tech or with me?”

Be open to the possibility that the problem could be on either side or perhaps a bit of both. If you’ve resisted developing new tech skills, here are six reasons why you need to overcome your reluctance so you can thrive in an evolving workplace.

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1. A Dirty Digital Footprint Could Have Consequences

Over the last several years, employers have demonstrated that they’re willing to discipline or even terminate employees who can’t manage themselves in the digital realm. There have been countless cautionary tales of high-profile executives, politicians, movie stars, and motivational speakers losing their livelihoods because they didn’t think before posting something on social media.[1]

Businesses, for their part, have begun managing their liability by proactively scouring the digital footprint of job applicants before they make hiring decisions. Colleges and universities are heading off future disciplinary problems by adding social media scans to their enrollment procedures. And that’s not even talking about the rise of “cancel culture.”

The best lesson is to keep it classy online and add a regular self-monitoring checkup to your routine. There is now an entire industry of digital footprint-scrubbing services, but a less-expensive option is simply to self-regulate. Start by asking a trusted friend to Google your name and find the most potentially embarrassing post, photo, or other information they can within 10 to 15 minutes. Identify (and delete) your bad judgment calls before someone else does.

2. You Need to Know the Tricks—and Tools—of Your Trade

Entire industries are being rapidly transformed by tech. Future job applicants will be expected to know both their field and its most commonly used tech tools on their first day. Unfortunately, the speed of technological change can result in a college or trade-school graduate landing a job only to discover that the skills they were taught last year have since become obsolete.

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Fortunately, many new initiatives are rising up to meet this challenge. In Los Angeles, for example, a partnership between grassroots organization MARTY and Hawke Media resulted in the creation of the first-ever digital marketing academy.[2] Whether your field of expertise is HR, PR, or something else altogether, there are likely digital skills workshops you can take advantage of. As tech continues to make inroads, the need to stay digitally current—in addition to having mastered textbook concepts—will increase.

3. Effective Communication Requires Understanding Audience Expectations

Hopefully, by now, you know that sending a message in ALL CAPS makes it look like you’re shouting. You might also have noticed that it’s becoming customary to text someone before calling and ask, “can you talk now?” Gone are the days when the phone would ring, you’d have no clue who was calling, and you’d pick up anyway.

What constitutes appropriate communication by phone, text, Slack, email, social media, or any other channel comes bundled with audience expectations. Those who know which channel to use in a given situation and abide by the unspoken rules will thrive in this new landscape.

When entering any new digital environment, spend a week or two as a cultural anthropologist. Observe what the digital natives do and act accordingly. Stay humble and open to correction. Hold off on cheeky humor and good-natured sass until you understand the world in which you’ve landed.

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4. Without a Solid Tech Foundation, You’ll Be Left Behind

Back in junior high, our math teachers would warn us about the importance of making sure we fully grasped a particular concept before moving on. The idea was that whatever came next would build on what we’d already mastered, so we’d better have it down cold.

Today, innovations in digital technology are being released so rapidly that more than a few late adopters will be left behind. If you haven’t mastered Google Sheets, for example, or don’t know your way around common project management software, then create your own learning opportunities. Online course platforms like Udemy and Coursera can help you get up to speed.

As more and more everyday products and services lean into digital platforms, those who make the effort to stay current with digital skills will more quickly adapt. If your current workplace demands technology skills that you don’t have, ’fess up to a sympathetic supervisor and develop a concrete plan and timeline for acquiring them. Your determination to fill your tech gaps will be a point in your favor.

5. You Need to Keep Yourself and Others Safe Online

Email phishing, identity theft, ransomware, and a wide array of other threats have become a settled fact of life online. According to Statista, money lost to phone scams alone jumped from $10.5 billion in 2019 to $19.7 billion in 2020, nearly doubling in just one year.[3]

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As online mistakes become increasingly common and costly, the value of those who use their digital skills to protect themselves and others will skyrocket.[4] Make sure you stay current on acceptable uses of technology in every setting. Rather than learning the hard way, take the advice of cybersecurity experts and follow the best security technology practices. Whenever you don’t understand the logic behind various security protocols, ask. You’ll be far better equipped to follow rules you understand.

6. Digital Skills Will Be Needed to Help Break Down Barriers

Digital skills are like any other tool—they can be used for good or bad. As the online world continues to reveal fractures across cultures, the need for people who use their digital skills to build bridges will increase.

Apply commonsense communication guidelines in the digital sphere. Adding your own personality to communication is a good thing but only up to a point. Seek out past posts that could cause unnecessary division and consider deleting them. You may feel very strongly about a controversial issue, and that’s fine. Just be aware that your supervisor may have something to say if your stance begins costing the company revenue.

Final Thoughts

As you sharpen your digital skill set, keep in mind that the lines have begun to blur across previously separate realms. Pressure is mounting to get more of our work done online. People aren’t as free to separate their work identity from their after-hours conduct.

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The rules seem to shift slightly with the introduction of every new, popular platform. The best way to adapt is to stay current, stay sharp, and regularly review your online conduct.

More About Digital Skills and Knowledge

Featured photo credit: hj barraza via unsplash.com

Reference

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Kimberly Zhang

Kimberly Zhang is the Chief Editor of Under30CEO and has a passion for educating the next generation of leaders to be successful.

Short on Time? 4 Time Hacks to Get Your Schedule Under Control Manifestation is a hot topic in this ever-growing personal-development-conscious world and culture we live in. Some people see manifestation as a woo woo, hyper-spiritual practice that focuses on bringing into your life that you energetically align with. Others view manifestation as a result of hard work and extreme action. Manifestation = the fruits of your labor. Still, many fall somewhere in between. Regardless of where you are on the spectrum, there are a few practical, actionable steps you can take in order to manifest anything you want. Keep on reading to learn how to do that. 5 Steps on How to Manifest Anything You Want Seek Clarity The first step in the manifestation process is seeking clarity. Whether you see it as a spiritual or actionable process, the core concept remains the same: you bring what you desire into your life. If you’re not clear on that, then how can you expect to manifest it? That would be like taking a road trip, hoping to end up in a specific destination, but refusing to define where it is. It doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, does it? Well, if you’re hoping to manifest a specific outcome but don’t know what it is, how will you ever know if you’ve manifested it? By seeking clarity, you gain direction. You take the guesswork out of wondering if you have manifested your desire and provide a clear target. Furthermore, it allows you to eliminate distractions and focus your attention on the desired outcome. Your reticular activating system (RAS), a part of your brain that acts as a filter, will start to hone in on the information that is relevant to your goal and discard the information that is not. By being crystal clear on what you’d like to manifest, you’re letting your brain run in the background while you’re consciously putting in the work. Align With Your Goal It’s all good and well to sit down and create a list of the things you’d like to manifest. However, if you’re not aligned with the steps required to make it happen, your list essentially becomes a wishlist. If you truly want to understand how to manifest anything you want, you have to understand alignment. Alignment means ensuring that your morals, values, ethics, and energy are in line with your desired results. For example, if you would like to manifest a million dollars but think that money is the root of all evil, you are not in alignment with what you’d like to manifest. Similarly, let’s say that you want to have a better, healthier body. If you are not mentally and emotionally prepared to put in the amount of work and effort required to achieve your desired outcome, you won’t realize it. So, in order to manifest something in your life, you have to make sure that you are in alignment with your goals first. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself disappointed, lacking the motivation, or self-sabotaging in your pursuit. Hold the Belief One of the biggest mistakes I see when people are trying to manifest something in their lives is not holding a belief. Would they love to realize a dream? Absolutely! But do they actually believe that they can? Uh, no! That’s the problem. When you seek manifestation in life, you must believe that it is actually possible to happen. Now, to be clear, I am not saying that you should only attempt to manifest things that you are 100% certain you can do. Manifestation, just like goal achievement, is a process of growth. You should become a more evolved version of yourself in order to manifest what you desire. There should be a certain level of uncomfortability that exists when deciding on what you’d like to manifest. But you can still be confident in yourself to show up and do the necessary work to see your goals occur while also feeling a bit overwhelmed by its grandness. If you cannot believe in your abilities, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Keep Your Vibration High and Clear Resistance So much of the process of manifestation — and goal setting, for that matter — is about your mindset and perseverance. Notice what I said there: “the process of manifestation.” Many people forget that manifestation is a process, and a time-consuming one at that. In this society we live in, a lot of people fall victim to believing that things should come easily or instantly. However, because manifestation requires growth and development, it definitely doesn't come easy or happen instantaneously. It can take time and effort to manifest your greatest desires, so it is essential to keep your vibration high. Below are a few tips to guarantee the latter: Optimize your environment for the mood and emotions you want to feel; Eliminate or distance yourself from people who lower your vibration or put you in a negative state; Meditate; Exercise; Make time for activities that bring you joy and happiness; and Get plenty of sleep. By doing some or all these things, you’ll find it so much easier to maintain a high vibration. Moreover, resistance can either be internal or external. The tips above are crucial in getting rid of resistance that block you from moving forward or cause you to quit, namely limiting stories, physical exhaustion, negative people, etc. But regardless of where it is coming from, you need to break through the resistance in order to manifest your greatest desires. Track Your Progress and Celebrate Another good way to keep your vibration high and persevere throughout the manifestation process is by tracking and celebrating your progress. Often, we get laser-focused on the result and adopt an all-or-nothing mentality when we’re pursuing a goal or attempting to manifest something in our lives. The problem with that is the fact that you won’t know if you’re making progress and may get discouraged if you do otherwise. After all, manifestation may take some time. Think about any racing video game, for instance. As far as I can remember, every game I ever played didn’t just put you on the track and tell you to complete a certain number of laps. No, there were checkpoints along the way. These little markers allowed you to know that you were on pace to achieving your goal of finishing the race. Each time you made it to another checkpoint, you knew you were still in the race. It works the same way in real life. While you’re holding the belief that you will follow through and manifest you desires, you can also help yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually by setting up some checkpoints in the process. These checkpoints will remind you that you are still on track to manifesting what you want. And once you hit every checkpoint, make sure you celebrate! As high achievers, we often celebrate one milestone by immediately moving on to the next. This is dangerous because you slowly turn off the dopamine response in your brain that’s signaled when you achieve your goals if you don’t celebrate. When this happens, you fall into that vicious cycle of enough never being enough. So, be sure to celebrate hitting those checkpoints once you establish them. Conclusion To review, the first step in the manifestation process is being clear on what you want to manifest. This will give you peace of mind and allow your RAS to work for you. After gaining clarity, check in with yourself to make sure that you are actually in alignment with what you’d like to manifest. If you’re not, seeing it take place in real life will feel like an uphill battle. The next step is to hold belief. In order to manifest something in your life, you have to believe that you can do it. Be honest with yourself and ask whether you truly believe you can manifest what you are talking about. Keep your vibration high and clear resistance, too — that’s the next step in understanding how to manifest what you want in your life. Manifestation is a process that can take time and effort. If you don’t protect your vibration and clear resistance along the way, it’ll be a tough ask of yourself. Lastly, in order to manifest anything you want, track your progress by setting up checkpoints and then celebrate it afterwards. That is how you can manifest anything you want. How to Manifest Anything You Want and Achieve Your Dreams How to Start a Side Hustle While Keeping Your Full-Time Job 30 Good Morning Motivation Quotes To Kickstart Your Day Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

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1 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day 2 22 Best Books That Will Make Your 2022 Happy And Productive 3 14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit 4 10 Best Self-Improvement Classes in 2021 5 42 Practical Ways to Start Working on Self-Improvement

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Last Updated on January 24, 2022

10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

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10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

When was the last time you read a book, or a substantial magazine article? Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, or the directions on your instant oatmeal packet?

If you’re one of countless people who don’t make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out.

Reading has a significant number of benefits, and here’re 10 benefits of reading to get you to start reading.

VIDEO SUMMARY

1. Mental Stimulation

Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of (or possibly even prevent) Alzheimer’s and Dementia,[1] since keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power.

Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind. Doing puzzles and playing games such as chess have also been found to be helpful with cognitive stimulation.[2]

2. Stress Reduction

No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story. A well-written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.

3. Knowledge

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benefits of reading - knowledge

    Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.

    Additionally, here’s a bit of food for thought: should you ever find yourself in dire circumstances, remember that although you might lose everything else—your job, your possessions, your money, even your health—knowledge can never be taken from you.

    4. Vocabulary Expansion

    This goes with the above topic:

    The more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary.

    Being articulate and well-spoken is of great help in any profession, and knowing that you can speak to higher-ups with self-confidence can be an enormous boost to your self-esteem. It could even aid in your career, as those who are well-read, well-spoken, and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tend to get promotions more quickly (and more often) than those with smaller vocabularies and lack of awareness of literature, scientific breakthroughs, and global events.

    Reading books is also vital for learning new languages, as non-native speakers gain exposure to words used in context, which will ameliorate their own speaking and writing fluency.

    5. Memory Improvement

    When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story. That’s a fair bit to remember, but brains are marvellous things and can remember these things with relative ease.

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    Amazingly enough, every new memory you create forges new synapses (brain pathways)[3] and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods.[4] How cool is that?

    If you want to learn more about how to increase brain power, boost memory and become 10x smarter, check out this technique!

    6. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills

    Have you ever read an amazing mystery novel, and solved the mystery yourself before finishing the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work by taking note of all the details provided and sorting them out to determine “whodunnit”.

    That same ability to analyze details also comes in handy when it comes to critiquing the plot; determining whether it was a well-written piece, if the characters were properly developed, if the storyline ran smoothly, etc.

    Should you ever have an opportunity to discuss the book with others, you’ll be able to state your opinions clearly, as you’ve taken the time to really consider all the aspects involved.

    7. Improved Focus and Concentration

    In our internet-crazed world, attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we multi-task through every day.

    In a single 5-minute span, the average person will divide their time between working on a task, checking email, chatting with a couple of people (via gchat, skype, etc.), keeping an eye on twitter, monitoring their smartphone, and interacting with co-workers. This type of ADD-like behaviour causes stress levels to rise, and lowers our productivity.

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    When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing.

    Try reading for 15-20 minutes before work (i.e. on your morning commute, if you take public transit), and you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.

    Additional information: if you find staying focus hard and re trying to improve your focus, it’s possible you’ve been doing it wrong.

    8. Better Writing Skills

    This goes hand-in-hand with the expansion of your vocabulary:

    Exposure to published, well-written work has a noted effect on one’s own writing, as observing the cadence, fluidity, and writing styles of other authors will invariably influence your own work.

    In the same way that musicians influence one another and painters use techniques established by previous masters, so do writers learn how to craft prose by reading the works of others.

    9. Tranquility

    In addition to the relaxation that accompanies reading a good book, it’s possible that the subject you read about can bring about immense inner peace and tranquility.

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    Reading spiritual texts can lower blood pressure and bring about an immense sense of calm, while reading self-help books has been shown to help people suffering from certain mood disorders and mild mental illnesses.[5]

    10. Free Entertainment

    Though many of us like to buy books so we can annotate them and dog-ear pages for future reference, they can be quite pricey.

    For low-budget entertainment, you can visit your local library and bask in the glory of the countless tomes available there for free. Libraries have books on every subject imaginable, and since they rotate their stock and constantly get new books, you’ll never run out of reading materials.

    If you happen to live in an area that doesn’t have a local library, or if you’re mobility-impaired and can’t get to one easily, most libraries have their books available in PDF or ePub format so you can read them on your e-reader, iPad, or your computer screen.

    There are also many sources online where you can download free e-books, so go hunting for something new to read!

    There’s a reading genre for every literate person on the planet, and whether your tastes lie in classical literature, poetry, fashion magazines, biographies, religious texts, young adult books, self-help guides, street lit, or romance novels, there’s something out there to capture your curiosity and imagination.

    Step away from your computer for a little while, crack open a book, and replenish your soul for a little while.

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    What to Read Next?

    If you need some ideas about what to read next, here they are:

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] abc news: Reading, Chess May Help Fight Alzheimer’s
    [2] Fisher Center For Alzheimer’s Research Foundation: Mental Stimulation Slows Alzheimer’s Progression
    [3] VeryWellMind: 10 Interesting Human Memory Facts You Should Know
    [4] Oprah: How Reading Improves Memory
    [5] The Wall Street Journal: Bibliotherapy: Reading Your Way To Mental Health

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