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Is Serial Mastery the Secret to Staying Relevant at Work?


As our tech-savvy culture continues to change the face of the modern job market, serial mastery is becoming employees’ best strategy for staying relevant. How much time have you invested in developing your own skills?

“You can’t expect that what you’ve become a master in will keep you valuable throughout the whole of your career, and you want to add to that the fact that most people are now going to be working into their 70s,” said Lynda Gratton, a London Business School professor of management practice, to the New York Times. “Being a generalist is, in my view, very unwise. Your major competitor is Wikipedia or Google.” Gratton recommends that professionals select specialties that don’t lend themselves to outsourcing or automation as a hedge against rapidly improving technology.

Sites that deliver online education or training videos, such as, Udacity and Coursera, have seen a growth explosion since 2008 as workers take continuing education courses or retool their careers. Simultaneously, businesses have been pouring more funds into tuition reimbursement and training initiatives; Amazon’s Career Choice Program is just one recent example of such a program.

Do you think the shift toward serial mastery will help improve employment rates?

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(Photo credit: DC Central Kitchen/Flickr)

Marissa Brassfield
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What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.