As a recruiter for 25 years many people who I worked with at the beginning of my career are now approaching the last 10 years of their careers.

Given that I work with Information/Digital technologists they happen to be in a field that does not sit still, many of those folks are facing the reality that their skill sets are not necessarily the most sought after on the market.

So how does someone stay relevant in the ever-changing landscape of technology? 

That is where Tony Hawk comes in. In case you did not have a middle school child obsessed with skateboarding like I did let me tell you a bit about Tony Hawk.

Tony Hawk is one of the biggest influencers and a pioneer in vertical skateboarding. He was the first person to do a documented 900 (2.5 mid-air skateboard revolutions), he is an entrepreneur with video games and he has a skateboarding touring exhibition. He acts, does public speaking and Tony has a philanthropic organization that helps build skate parks for the underprivileged.  Tony was also the first person to skate on White House grounds during a visit with Barack Obama.

And Tony is 50 years old.

Being 50 years old and a skateboarder can be as challenging as an IT programmer who has spent their career doing traditional RPG programming and now wants/needs to find a new job in a market that no longer uses RPG.

In a recent interview with Tony he gave some great advice that I think is important to those who are just starting out or who just raised their head and realized that they need to make some changes if they want to keep moving forward in their careers.

3 Tips from Tony

1.  Stay up on the new tricks-Tony does not do all the tricks any longer but he is aware of the latest and greatest.

If you are in technology, maybe this summer is the summer you take a Python or R class.

2.  Practices his skill on the regular-Tony has not stopped honing his craft. He does a lot of things that relate to his core passion and skill of skateboarding AND he keeps skateboarding.

For a technologist, you may not want or need to code every day but that does not mean you can’t remain informed and add to your skills. Go to conferences and see what is happening in the world of code. Get Agile SAFe certified. Become the leader in your firm that transforms the tech interview process to be inclusive for all thereby providing even more opportunities for the coders who follow.

3.  Shares his passion-Tony does a lot of public speaking, he is an influencer and an ambassador for the sport of skateboarding.

At some point in your career you may feel the need to share your amassed knowledge to the benefit of others. Become a thought leader and share the tips and tricks of your career.