Technology is evolving at lightning speed and is forever changing the way the world works. And to continue improving our ways of life, we need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and skills.
In order for you to have a professional advantage you need to display your skills beyond the basics. Setting yourself apart from the crowd in today’s competitive world. As an independent specialist or consultant, your knowledge and skills can be the difference between landing the assignment and the clients you want, and struggling to prove your value.
Keeping up-to-date on the trends affecting your industry is a key part of staying relevant, because it can help you see how your career fits in with your industry’s ups and downs. Do you know your industry’s biggest trends right now? What are people predicting in the next couple of years? How about 10 years from now?
Staying current in your field will require a strong mix of hard skills and the technical know-how needed in your line, and soft skills such as communication savvy.
Here are some of the ways to keep your knowledge and abilities up-to-date:
Join the conversation
Keeping up with the industry trends and insights require almost continuous maintenance.
Subscribe to newsletters, participate in workshops, and participate in discussions online. It’s only by keeping up on this front that you’ll even know about the technical changes on the horizon.
Make friends across generations
Don’t assume you don’t have anything in common with the new entrants in your field who are older or younger. Making friends who are not in your age group can help you communicate with a wider variety of people. Getting their perspective can help provide new ways of looking at the business. Finally, they can keep you dialed into big picture changes, as well as provide new tools and problems-solving approaches.
Make relevance a priority
As relevance slips away from you, the biggest danger is that you slowly become unemployable on the open markets. It’s possible to stick out safely in a certain job for a while, but always try to keep your skills fresh to the best of your ability.
Invest in continuing education and certification
While continuing education and certification programs typically require a more intensive time and financial obligation, they can help boost reliability, and demonstrate a commitment to your profession. Becoming proficient in a new platform, committing to uphold industry standards through a certification program, or staying on top of market trends by taking a class can position you competitively within your line of business.
Volunteer to take on new projects and apply the skills you’re working on. Your ultimate goal is to apply new skills which will lead you to a better placement in your field. Your volunteer work can be included as part of your experience on your profile just like paid work experience.
No matter what tactic you choose, maintaining expertise in your field shows clients you are well informed and dedicated. Set yourself up for success by investing in your skills and knowledge today.
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