When was the last time you did something just to build your professional know-how?
No matter what your role is or what field you work in, staying on top of industry news and trends will help you gain experience, identify opportunities for growth and give you a competitive edge.
Keeping up to date with your industry doesn’t need to be difficult, though. Here are some simple strategies you can start on today.
1. Enlist a mentor or industry buddy
Catching up with a mentor or friend with industry experience gives you a chance to branch out from the workplace and learn new information in a social setting. Being able to ask questions without judgement can be key to building your knowledge and seeing things from another perspective.
2. Build your skills with study
A course can be a great way to refresh the skills you need for your job or learn new skills that can help to advance your career. Online and part-time courses allow you to keep working while you study. Take a look at what options are out there—you could explore courses directly related to your industry, study to help you build soft skills such as leadership or negotiation, or a business or IT course that could apply to a wide range of roles.
3. Get in the loop
Subscribe to online trade journals, blogs, magazines and other publications for news delivered straight to your inbox. If you’re faced with a lack of time and a cluttered inbox, try getting into the routine of reading through industry emails at the same time each day—whether that’s first thing in the morning, before you pack up for the day, or during your lunch break.
Head along to conferences, industry events and training sessions that give you a chance to take in new information and network while you’re at it. You could also reach out to suppliers, customers and professionals who work in related fields to get a wider understanding of your industry. Networking and events can also help you keep up to date with your competitors’ thinking.
5. Find a forum
Online forums and discussion boards can be a treasure trove of information on specific topics and industries. You may just need some time to sift through to find the information and opinions that strike your interest the most. While you’re at it, take the opportunity to contribute to discussions as well as absorbing new information.
6. Get social
Social media has become one of the best up-to-the-minute sources of industry news. By following experts and industry leaders on channels like Twitter or Instagram, you’ll absorb the latest information and opinions while you get your daily social media fix.
7. Read, listen and watch
The digital world is full of media to immerse yourself in, through whatever format suits you best. There are plenty of independent websites that are as well-followed and informative as traditional media. If you prefer paper, make a regular visit to your local bookstore for the latest publications to learn from. Podcasts can be a great way to make the most of a commute. The vast amount of titles out there now spans fields as diverse as plumbing, software engineering, medicine, leadership and design, so there’s bound to be a topic worth you listening to.