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MAY 2021 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 55 to learn and become fluent in. You may even find yourself having to refresh your knowledge of past design technologies that you haven't worked with for a while in order to satisfy the requirements of a new project. e key to all of this isn't so much in what you already know, but in your ability to quickly adapt, learn, and be ready for the next new design that will be coming your way. ere's always a bigger fish, especially in our industry, so let's come up with some ideas on how to be ready to land the big one safely—without it getting away. Here are a few thoughts to use as a starting point: Be Ready for Change I realize that this sounds like a cheesy moti- vational phrase, but I know of several people who have missed out on some great opportu- nities because they weren't mentally prepared for it. Whether it's emerging design technolo- gies or next-generation systems and tools, it's going to be different, and we've got to be ready. Sadly, many will avoid changes in what they are doing to stay with what they know and are comfortable with. Inflexibility can be a career- killer, though, and it's one sure way of letting the big one get away. Rise Above the Fear e thought of learning and doing something new can also bring with it a lot of fear. It is not at all unusual for this apprehension to build in our minds and make the task seem much more difficult than it really is. Yes, it may take some time, a lot of extra effort, and perhaps even banging your head against the wall a few times in frustration. With perseverance, though, you will be rewarded with another technological capability that you can add to your tackle box of design skills. Too oen we spend time trying to convince ourselves that something can't be done, instead of just sitting down and doing it. Keep Your Finger on the Pulse To explore new ideas, you need to know what ideas are out there to explore. We are fortunate in our industry that there are many different resources that can help with this. Design007 Magazine, for example, explores a different industry topic each month, along with many other design-related subjects cov- ered in its different articles and columns—and that is only one of the many resources avail- able out there. With newsletters, white papers, seminars, classes, and conferences, there is no shortage of information on the newest design technology pools that you can fish from. Expand Your Network I would never have had the story about "the big one that got away that I never saw" to tell you if my friend hadn't suggested that we try fishing at that obscure little lake that I had never heard of before. Having people in your network that can expose you to new ideas and help you when you are stuck is essential to staying on top of your game. And I'm not just talking about other designers either; con- nect with anyone who can shine new light on a previously darkened area: customers, man- agers, competitors, friends, and experts from other industries as well. Just as iron sharpens iron, connecting with others in our network can help us learn and improve as we, in turn, help them. How about you? What do you do to keep yourself ready for the changes in technology that come your way? If nothing immediately comes to mind, then give it some thought. It's always good to be prepared for the next big- ger fish before we find it pulling on our line. And with that, I think it's time for me to pre- pare something for dinner: chicken, burgers, pizza—anything but fish! Keep on designing everyone, and I'll see you next time. DESIGN007 Tim Haag writes technical, thought-leadership content for First Page Sage about his long- time career as a PCB designer and EDA technologist. To read past columns or contact Haag, click here.

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