Versatility should be a keystone to your personal success, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
When I hear the word versatility, I, an avid New England Patriots fan, think of my favorite football team. Anyone who is an NFL fan knows that Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots, loves versatile players. That is, players who can play multiple positions effectively. Julian Edelman is an excellent wide receiver as well as a punt returner. Cameron Fleming can sub in as a swing tackle or an extra tight end at any point in the game and succeed. Devin McCourty has the abilities to play deep free safety or man up with any receiver on the field. What is this mantra called? You may have heard it. Do your job.
What is your job? It’s not always what you expect it to be. I’m sure you have that dream job of yours, something you’ve always wanted to accomplish. I’d love to be a published author, publishing novel after novel and working on them getting translated into movies. That would be amazing to me, but I know that sometimes, dreams take time to be achieved, and I don’t have time to sit around working retail jobs, not working on my craft, just because I’m not doing exactly what I dream of doing.
Right now, I’m doing my job of writing articles for MakesSense. I certainly didn’t envision doing this last year, as I walked across the podium, receiving my degree from Bridgewater State University. Writing about software, businesses and sometimes restaurants wasn’t exactly in my lifelong plans. But I know I have a skill, and I’ve learned to apply that skill in multiple ways. Maybe in a few years, I’ll be a technical writer, writing forms or manuals for some sort of tech company. Maybe I’ll be submitting short stories to multiple publishers, looking to get my work inside of a compendium. Maybe I’ll be co-writing a script for an upcoming TV show, who knows what life is going to bring at you, but the most important thing is to be versatile in everything you do.
It doesn’t only apply to your primary career skill, as well. Being versatile in life covers all sorts of facets, including technology and software. A lot of people put themselves into categories these days. He’s an Xbox guy, she’s a Playstation girl. I’m an Apple guy, you’re a Microsoft enthusiast, and they’re Google users. This is a world where we love our brand names, and sometimes that can harm us in the long run.
Say you’re big into Apple products. All of your computers are Macintosh, you have an iPhone, an iPad, etcetera. You’ve decided to take a whirl at being a school teacher. You’ve always wanted to try it out, and your job crunching numbers at a local bank is starting to wear you down. You need some time to do something a little more exciting, and because you’re so good with numbers and great with people, including kids, you get the job at your old elementary school. Thing is, when you step in that building, things are different. You see computers everywhere, and suddenly you learn that all of the students have laptops. You’re introduced to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drive, and you’re now being shown an entirely new world that you had no intention of diving into.
Keeping your mind more open and learning about things as you go along can only improve your well-being in the workplace, and in your personal life, as well. Give things a chance and see what all the fuss is about.
We love our technological ecosystems, but having a different operating system in the house can’t hurt, either. Taking the time to use Google Drive and get familiar with the software may help you out later on. Learn how to use software you wouldn’t normally use, like Adobe Photoshop or iMovie. Who knows, maybe you won’t like it, but you at least familiar enough with it to be able to jump back in if you need to. Don’t scoff at a brand name you don’t recognize, give it a shot. The more you know, the better you are off.
What technological ecosystem are you a part of? Even more importantly, what’s something you’ve been interested in giving a shot? I encourage you to widen your horizons. You never know how much it could benefit you in the long run. Be versatile, and learn to do any job.
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