I just spent three days in a row sitting on a beach, kickin’ it in a beach chair watching surfers and consuming copious amounts of water and electrolyte-infused drinks.  My teen-aged son and daughter recently took up the sport and it has been fun to join them at the ocean and enjoy their learning process.  During the course of these three days, there were several experienced surfers who showed up in the spot where we had planted our towels.  They were good at what they did and they did it often.  A trademark attached to someone who is “good” at what they do is the practice they put into their craft.  Not only practice but staying apprised of anything new in their selected field of interest or endeavor.



This certainly does not preclude surfers.  Several of these old school surfers, who may have enjoyed surfing on short boards, were out in droves using a long board or even a “softie” - a soft, foam core board on which beginners learn.  Yours truly will even be getting out on a softie at some point this summer.  Never stop learning, right?  It was incredibly intriguing to watch these guys, who might have been thought of as hot dogs, enjoying a ride on a board typically reserved for the inexperienced or one-weekend water warrior.  There was one surfer in particular, obviously experienced, who surfed ALL DAY while standing on his head, jumping around, holding yoga poses, and generally displaying a good positive attitude to the young surfers, as well as putting on a great show for the shore surfers – like myself.  Things he achieved on a soft surfboard.


I have never liked the phrase, “You can’t teach an old dog…,” for I believe you can.  And actually if an old dog wants to stay in the game, he better learn a few new tricks.   And in order to stay on top of your game, you must never stop learning, never stop practicing.  For failure is eminent the moment you stop learning, the moment you become stagnant.  If major corporations recognize stagnation as a death knell, why wouldn’t you?  Why would the human body and mind be any different?


"All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort , and effort means work." ~Calvin Coolidge


Sure, practice makes perfect.  Sure, merely showing up is imperative.  But don’t you think the extra effort is what makes a person unique – better – at what they do?  BeKnown and BranchOut are knocking on the solid oak door of LinkedIn.  The hinges are a bit creaky on that door, I am happy to open it wide and see what else is out there. 


Don’t ever give up and don’t ever shut down, try surfing on a softie, instead of just a sluggish oak door.   Felix the Cat had a whole bag of tricks, so can I.


by rayannethorn

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Sorry Rayanne - but I'm not learning anything that has any true application in agency recruiting.  Learn what, exactly?  Learn the latest way to be connected with yet another thousand people who have nothing to do with actually sending a client an invoice?  Sending invoices hasn't changed.  Nothing new about how to make it happen either. 


I'll just sit right here and simply DO what I already know how to do. 



As an "old dog" I agree with your "Better Be Learning" advice relative staying competitive as a professional in your field of expertise. 


Changes are inevitable in all jobs, work environments and industries--and thinking you can avoid them without making some adjustments, especially to those changes that may directly affect you, is asking for trouble.  I live up the road a ways from Joplin, Missouri where a tornado destroyed lives and a good percentage of the town.  Some of the folks who escaped the disaster—admitted that they “heard the sirens and the warnings…but never imagined they would be hit” so they made no effort to seek shelter until the last minute (they were lucky to tell the tail).  While this is an extreme example of an event that has nothing to do with staying current with job skills, etc., it’s a simple reminder that everything can change in an instant.  So, with my forty years (going on 41) in the discipline of recruitment, I remain a student of the recruitment process and also of fast moving cloud formations that loom up out of nowhere.

My "scar tissue", earned mostly in the trenches, reminds me to pay attention particularly in redundant situations—where a slight variation, if noticed, can be a learning event.

Just as importantly, learning from others, particularly from many of the active Pros in RecruitingBlogs.com, is a rich resource for tips, DOs and DON’Ts, etc., that can be instructive even for an old dog like me.

For the most part - my "learning" comes more in the form of confirmation - that what I am doing is right on the money.  So many people I see attach themselves to this "better adopt this new tool or be passed by" idea that I'm surprised how some are even making it today......

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