Six Ways to Maintain Your Industry Knowledge and Skills

Life is busy. Days dissolve into weeks and weeks into months as daily routines get consumed by work, family/friends, eat, sleep, repeat. There is little time left to focus on personal and professional development. Staying up-to-date in your industry, however, is now a necessity. Our world is ever-changing, driven by evolving innovation and technologies that…

Life is busy. Days dissolve into weeks and weeks into months as daily routines get consumed by work, family/friends, eat, sleep, repeat. There is little time left to focus on personal and professional development. Staying up-to-date in your industry, however, is now a necessity. Our world is ever-changing, driven by evolving innovation and technologies that carve out new trends across all industries. What does this mean for you? What are the impacts? Keeping your knowledge current will not only secure your relevance in the role but will also garner growth, experience and a competitive advantage. Let’s take a closer look at the six easy ways that will ensure you’re ahead of the game and on top of your industry trends.

1. Use your professional/social networks

Networking is one of the most powerful tools in keeping skills up-to-date and there are many avenues to rub elbows with those who can offer greater awareness:

Professional Groups: Connect to peers and join professional associations. Many members are well versed on industry trends, headways in technology or real-time information.

Social Media: An incredible platform in keeping your knowledge current with access to experts and industry players. Follow prominent business leaders and public figures as well as companies to see what the competition is doing and gain in-depth insights. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook all provide mounds of content coupled with current sources of news.

Meetups: Industry events and conferences are a fantastic opportunity to meet with peers and expand your network. They allow you to discover the latest jobs, learn something new and above all, keep abreast of industry trends. Websites like Meetup are a great way to find out what’s going on in your area.

2. Subscribe to industry/trade magazines, blogs and newsletters

There are many industry bodies, located in Australia, New Zealand and overseas. Subscribing to any of their trade journals or magazines is an effective way of maintaining your industry knowledge. Bloggers are especially up-to-date, and often interview industry leaders to support their blog content. Try to routine some time into your day to read through them, be it first thing in the morning or as the last thing you do before signing off.

3. Ask your employer for support

Businesses value individuals who have the most current skills and knowledge. Speaking to your current employer and securing their support in keeping skills up-to-date will put you in a positive light. They will likely be impressed with your effort to stay attuned with industry trends and help provide additional on-the-job training with a more experienced colleague.

4. Undertake refresher courses

The importance of technical skills or building a repertoire of soft skills cannot be over-emphasised in our dynamic market. Undertaking extra training will go a long way in keeping skills up-to-date and with so many education options available, you will be surprised just how much there is out there relevant to your industry. Many courses are available online or on a part-time basis to suit time-poor individuals and often at a reasonable cost.

5. Watch webinars and podcasts

The digital world has opened the doors to a plethora of audio and visual means of information. Staying up-to-date in your industry has never been easier with the rise of pertinent webinars and podcasts. A great way to spend your lunch break, webinars are often shown at lunchtimes to capture a wider audience. There are also many pre-recorded webinars available to download for viewing at times that best suit you. Podcasts are another option and offer something to listen to on your way to/from work.

6. Enlist a mentor

Maintaining your industry knowledge and acquiring new information is all the more effective when you can glean it from another seasoned professional. A mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be someone you work with. It may be a friend, tutor or family member with extensive industry experience. Seek their advice and guidance, share and discuss your views. Being able to ask any kind of questions (including what you may consider to be a silly question) is invaluable.  

Keeping your knowledge current is now an integral part of the career journey. With so many free resources at your disposal, you can take advantage of the many ways to get on top of industry trends whilst developing your skillset. Soon, you will reap the benefits and set yourself apart from those who haven’t made it a priority.

If you would like to discuss and explore this further, or are actively looking for a new position, please feel free to contact one of our dedicated consultants.