With the fast pace of innovation and easy access to information, it can be challenging for professionals to keep up with industry trends and make their skills current. If you want to advance your career and stay competitive in the job market, investing in professional development should be a priority. To keep your skills current, here are 10 tips that you may find useful in your pursuit for career success.
1. Learn the latest technology
Level up your knowledge on new technological advancements. You don’t have to master a new device, program or application all at once but you should at least start to be familiar with the technologies used in your organisation to be able to perform your duties and responsibilities effectively. With how fast technology is being developed nowadays, there will always be new advancements and innovative ways of doing things. Be open to new things and you can continue to learn new skills in the process.
2. Follow industry leaders on social media
Social media is a great source of the latest news and industry trends. You can put it to good use by following the innovators in the industry you’re working in. Spend time reading about what these industry leaders are talking about and you may just pick up a few new insights, skills and best practices that you can apply in your work. The best part is that most of the online resources are free and accessible from YouTube talks and tutorials to various resource articles and blog posts at your disposal.
3. Find out what skills are in demand today
The skills in demand a few years ago may differ from what is in demand today. To find out what skills and qualities that companies look for in a potential employee, read the job descriptions in ads where they have a list of required skills for the job. For the position that you are currently in or looking to explore, check to see if the skills match your current ones. If some skills do not match with yours, then it may be time to get some training to be on par with current industry demands.
4. Take professional development courses
To keep your skills current, enrolling in professional development courses will get you further ahead. The training you get from a registered training organisation like AOT will be valuable in your career advancement. Online courses can teach you real work skills that you can actually apply in the workplace.
5. Attend workshops, conferences and professional events
Workshops and conferences are great sources of new information. You can search online for relevant events near you that are in line with the industry that you’re working in. Most of these workshops have keynote speakers who are leaders and experts in their own fields. You can learn valuable information and insights from them that can help you further your career. These events are also a good way for you to network with other professionals in your industry.
6. Challenge yourself with tasks out of your comfort zone
Trying out tasks that are new to you gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself. You can have a chance to do something differently and learn something new. Be open to explore other areas that are out of your comfort zone. It might be difficult at first but well worth it if you can develop your abilities and challenge your capacity.
7. Collaborate with others on a project
It might just surprise you what you can learn by collaborating with others. If given the chance to work with someone or in a team, try it out. You can observe and discover what your colleagues are good at and learn from them. They may have different ways of doing things that may be useful to you too. This approach may also help you improve your people skills and how you coordinate with others, which is always a good skill to have.
8. Read self-help books
There are never enough books you can read to help you improve your career and life. In your spare time, you can read some self-help books that will not only provide knowledge and information but give you a different perspective on things. You can enjoy a good book while learning at the same time.
9. Make a plan
Making a plan means taking proactive steps to develop your skills and knowledge. It is not just about creating a habit of keeping up do date with the latest technological trends, industry news and articles but doing actual planning and scheduling some real study and training time to learn new skills.
10. Be always open to the possibilities
Accepting that you don’t know everything is the first step to learning. It’s okay if you don’t have all the skills you need now to be someone brilliant but knowing that you need to improve and adapt to change can help motivate you to learn more and even develop a life of continuous learning and improvement. Be always open to new things and this will not only help to make your skills current but drive you towards a successful career and life.