7 ways to stay up to date in your industry

Many of us work in fast-changing environments that require us to be experts in our field. No matter what your role is in an organisation, keeping up to date with industry news and trends will help you gain experience, identify opportunities for growth and give you a competitive edge. Staying abreast of changes and practices in your industry doesn’t need to be difficult though – simply read our tips below and learn how you can stay on top.

1. Enlist a mentor or industry buddy

Having regular catch-ups with an approachable mentor or friend who has experience in your industry will help you learn new information in a social context. Being able to ask questions without judgement is the key to building your knowledge on your industry and seeing things from another perspective.

2. Build your skills with study

Feel like your knowledge is a little outdated? Studying is a great way to refresh the skills you need for your job, or learn new ones that can help advance your career. With courses now being offered online and part-time, you can continue to work while building on soft skills such as leadership or negotiation, or take a business or IT course that could be applicable to a wide range of roles.

3. Subscribe to online newsletters

A free and easy way to stay in the loop is to subscribe to online trade journals, blogs, magazines and other publications for news delivered straight to your inbox. If you find a lack of time and a cluttered inbox is stopping you from reading your emails, try printing them out as soon as they’re received. Get into the routine of reading through them at the same time each day, whether that’s first thing in the morning, before you shut your computer off for the day, or during your lunch break.

4. Network

Get yourself out of the office to attend conferences, industry events and training sessions. Reach out to suppliers, customers and professionals who work in related fields to get a wider understanding of your industry.Networking with new people may also keep you up to date with your competitors’ thinking, which can be used to you and your employer’s advantage.

5. Browse online forums or discussion boards

Online forums and discussion boards can be full of tailored information around specific topics and industries. If you find them overwhelming, you may just need some time to sift through the various topics to find certain opinions that pique your interest. Make sure you contribute to discussions as well as taking in what you’re learning from others.

6. Follow prominent people on social media

Social media has become one of the best up-to-the-minute sources of news. Never before have people with knowledge, fame and power been so personally accessible to the public. By following well-known experts and industry people on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, 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 saturated with written, audio and visual media to immerse yourself in. There are loads of respected bloggers out there whose opinions are as credible as paid newspaper journalists. Do a regular Google search and see what you can find. If you prefer paper, make a regular visit to the bookstore and buy the latest books to learn from.

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