Times are changing. Calculators are ensuring that children are less adept at math, and the Internet and search engines like Google are ensuring that we need not remember anything. Also, learning by-heart is being shunned from the curriculum and newer techniques in education are being implemented with.
Are these enough reasons for the drop in standards in every profession we see? Let me explain. I am not a doctor, I am not a hardware engineer, and I am not at all a software coder. I do not earn a living by my expertise in the above-mentioned fields. So, when I need the help of a doctor; I go a doctor. Also, I go to other people like a computer hardware specialist.
When a person I had known wanted to quit smoking 10-15 years ago, Zyban, the smoking-cessation pill, was being introduced in the U.S. So, he went to a doctor to know about this medicine. Zyban was available as a generic drug in India, but the doctor whom he had gone to did not have any clue about how to use it. The person had known from the Internet that he had to use the medicine for about one-or-two-weeks along with his smoking, then quit “cold turkey”; and then continue to take the medicine for about two months afterward. The doctor was not knowledgeable about it.
When we need to install a new hardware we go a hardware engineer. He is also proficient in the work he does on a daily basis. But when he encounters some new hardware, and when we ask him about it he is left in the lurch. Sometimes it is futile even to ask him, because we will be left tutoring him rather than the other way around!!
We all work in different avenues. It is time we rethink on our role of creating value in the workplace. We all need to keep ourselves updated on our area of expertise. Above of all, we need to figure out the scope of our work. Like, what does our employer or customer really needs from us? In what ways we can lessen their problems? In what ways we can increase their level of satisfaction? In order to achieve that, what do we need to do and learn? This should be a continuous process so that other people are satisfied with our level of competence. It is the art and science of professionalism.