Half Life of Skills

When deciding what is worth developing in terms of professional skills, there is an important concept to consider, and I would like to talk about it: the Half Life of Skills.

I’m often asked for advice about skills that are worth developing or learning, and I am always very happy to provide my feedback. These questions come from people of all ages, and this is very appropriate, because those who are not very young anymore, who are not at the beginning of their professional trajectory, can and should invest in themselves in order to maintain and improve their ability to provide value to the businesses that they work together with.

This is especially important in terms of what I call the half life of skills. If we decide to invest our attention, our resources, our time in a given direction, we have to take into account the opportunity costs that arise unavoidably. For example, our professional time is limited even if measured in decades, so we definitely want to maximize the return on the investment that we are making in developing a new skill.

So understanding and analyzing what is the likely life lifecycle of these technical skills enables a person to make very valuable judgments on the investment that a particular direction deserves. I hope that, alongside the other useful parameters of prioritizing certain skills, you may decide to use this concept of the half life of skills as something that you also find valuable.