You are being interviewed for a job and the hiring manager asks, “What have you done recently to further or enhance your career? What would you say?
Here is another scenario: You worked at your job for five years, but due to unexpected circumstances – perhaps you were laid off – you now have to find a new job. How important is it to be “up-to-date” in your current industry? If the answer is “extremely important,” you are right on target. No matter what your career is, the industry in which you operate is always evolving as technology advances and new discoveries are made. Few jobs function today in the same manner they did a decade ago. Moreover, the generation behind yours is already well versed in the new technologies, an advantage that increases their marketability and puts them well in range of performing your job. Even the way we communicate has changed with the advent of instant messaging and networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.
By all means, keep abreast of the labor market. If you are thinking of looking for a new job, you should know what your prospects are for being hired in your specific field and in your geographic region of choice. In addition, keep current with trends, innovations, educational requirements and opportunities in your field. This is vital, not only to perform your current job functions, but also to enhance your chances for promotion. If you have clients, stay on top of their industries as well.
Keep your edge
Consider setting up a separate e-mail specifically for your career. Registering at Internet sites related to your profession and receiving industry newsletters can generate an overwhelming amount of e-mail. By setting up a separate e-mail account, your personal e-mail will remain uncluttered.
Visit your local library, where you can read industry journals, the latest books and other print media for free. Many libraries also have electronic resources that you can access from home, as long as you have a library card.
Take classes. You may already have a degree, but it never hurts to take a class or two afterward, whether in person or online.
Consider joining an association related to your profession to network with other industry professionals.
Staying on top of your profession is vital for your career success. Whether you are looking for a promotion or looking for a new job, set aside time each day to engage in ways to boost your career.