"Accelerated Irrelevance"

The phrase "accelerated irrelevance" caught my attention a few years ago when I was reading an article about General Motors. It focused on how the auto maker had, for the most part, ignored the trends of customers and our culture and was now facing a very bleak future. The bailout came about a year later.

I see lots of people who I fear are suffering from accelerated irrelevance as well. People who are out of work but haven't taken the opportunity to upgrade their job skills. Individuals who have let their physical health decline while they haven't had a job, and now they are not the quality candidate they would have been two years ago. Even people who ARE working can suffer from future irrelevance if they don't have an eye to what job skills and abilities will be needed in the workplace in 1-3 years.

And yes, I have been a "poster child" for the phrase as well. Until last January I had not really made a concerted effort to engage in social media. I reasoned that I was too busy with other things and that it was hard to figure out the return on investment of social media. In my world, however, not engaging in social media is one of the quickest ways to become irrelevant. I needed to change-and did.

What do you need to do differently to remain relevant in your job or career... or to be a strong candidate for the jobs that will be part of economy in 3-5 years? Unlike General Motors, there probably won't be a bailout for those who don't make the change.