Keeping your skill sets up-to-date is important in today’s ultra-competitive market. The competition for talent is fierce. Employers are always on the lookout for new talent that will help propel their organization to new heights. Successful individuals know this and their success is mainly due to the fact that they always seem to stay ahead of the curve and bring fresh and novel concepts to the foreground.
Many people make the mistake of updating their skills and researching new industry trends only when they are looking for a new job opportunity, however that is a huge mistake. Even if you are perfectly happy in your current position, staying informed and knowledgeable will help you build your credibility and remain relevant in your field. This will increase your value as an employee and undoubtedly help you create endless opportunities for yourself.
That being said, it is also true that people get busy and most people don’t have the time to dedicate countless hours to “staying informed”. However, with a little time management, strategy and curiosity, you will be able to use the following tips to shape and enhance your career by learning how to stay up-to-date in your industry.
1- Read and Subscribe to Industry Publications
Whether online or in print form, every industry has numerous publications made available to professionals so that they can gain knowledge of what is happening in the industry. They are a great way to keep up with the latest news and developments in your field.
However, beware of subscribing to too many publications that will inevitably end up in a collection of unread magazines or the constant cluttering of your inbox.
Instead, subscribe to a very few reputable publications that will add value to your learning process without overloading your allotted time to research.
2- Follow Key Influencers
Who would ever think that you could actually learn valuable information through social media? But the fact of the matter is that a surprising number of thought leaders post invaluable information and the very latest news on social media.
Joining online groups or forums and posting strategic comments or questions can also result in making valuable new connections, interesting exchanges and maybe even creating unexpected opportunities.
3- Consider Podcasts
If you are like most people, you are always on the go. For this reason, an increasing number of people opt to keep their knowledge up-to-date through reputable, informative and surprisingly entertaining podcasts. The podcast industry has exploded in recent years and you can now find podcasts about any industry or market.
Skip the clutter by relying on your favorite publications for recommendations on which podcasts will be most valuable to you and then enjoy learning more about your industry on your morning commute or while being at the gym.
4- Attend Industry Events
Attending conferences and trade shows were once the only way to discover the latest industry developments and connect with fellow professionals. Although this is no longer the case, industry events are still an invaluable way to stay ahead of the curve. Remember that most employers will also pay for the totality or at least a part of your attendance fee and related costs.
5- Be on the Lookout for Good Training Opportunities
Professional training is still the best way to gain new skills and remain at the forefront of industry trends. Professional training is not just important to your career, but it is also vital to your success. Gaining new meaningful knowledge, usable skills and recognized qualifications will allow you to keep your skills relevant in an ever changing world.
Whether online or in-person, through workshops, seminars or more traditional class training, professional development courses will also help you connect with fellow professionals and encourage you to discuss and find solutions to the common challenges that are often faced in your field.
Staying on top of industry trends will raise your level of expertise and directly improve your reputation as a knowledgeable and dependable expert in your field. Your career will not advance if you do not remain relevant in your space. Following one or all of the suggested tips will help you stay ahead of the curve without putting too much pressure on your daily agenda.