Five ways to be more informed in your professional life

For most professions, continuing education is a huge part of the job. Many of us work in highly competitive environments, and some professions are even required to take seminars and fresh up classes throughout their careers. No matter how much experience you already have, it is always a better idea to stay professionally informed and up to date with the industry.

If we fail to keep up with the latest updates and trends, we can miss out on important opportunities and be caught unaware of the news and events around us. That is why it is important to keep in touch with the latest news and trends in our profession.

In order to keep up with the latest developments in your industry, you must first need to identify the best sources available. Below is a list for you to determine what the most appropriate sources you can use depending on your industry and profession you have. Here are 5 ways to be more professionally informed:

Use Traditional Sources

A great start to staying informed is to find a mentor. Not only can mentors help solve the various career issues and can help you mould your career and give you and endless list of insider knowledge. Use trade organizations to your full advantage. Try to join as they are useful and may help you keep informed with their publications and provide networking opportunities with conferences and meetings. Trade shows is also a great area for learning about competitors, new products and latest industry trends.

Social Media

One of the best ways to be more informed is to know your way around mobile marketing. Social Media, SEO, email, design trends, marketing and events are all important to master if you want to stay updated even with a full time job.

Twitter

Twitter is all about exchanges better ideas and conversations. You should use twitter to follow the top leaders in your industry. How do you find them? Start searching for companies you know, and find their twitter handles on the website. Check out who they follow and add the interesting related ones to your list.

Blogs

Find blogs that are related to your profession. If you follow one or two blogs it will be easy to visit them on a regular basis. You may also want to subscribe via email to receive their weekly feeds.

Facebook

A wonderful way to stay in touch and reconnect with fellow employees and the organization is to use Facebook. There are plenty of ways to join or start an industry specific group and even fellow those who host webinars.

LinkedIn

Using LinkedIn is another great way to keep in contact with colleagues, trade groups, and the top industry leaders. Try to join industry specific groups and get the latest update feeds from individuals and organizations.

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Forums

Membership sites can be full of insider information and discussions tailored around specific industries and topics. Making contact with other professionals can help you network and grow your skills.

If you are unsure of which forums to start, ask fellow colleagues, brown the interest or ask your friends on other social media accounts for recommendations.

  1. Call the Experts

While you may have a broad knowledge of disciplines in your career, sometimes it can be necessary to contact the experts for more in-depth information on a topic. By reaching out to specialists, you will find it is a great way to gain insights into trends and new technology.

  1. Seminars & Webinars

Seminars are a great way to stay up to date with what is going on in your profession. Though chances are, you may not have the extra funds or time to attend every seminar or conference that interests you. Webinars have become a great alternative for that. They are a great way to learn about new professional trends and educating you in a shorter amount of time than if you were to attend a seminar. Webinars are often free to watch on the web. Yet most offer an online course as well and you may also be able to receive a downloadable presentation to use for training your team members.

  1. Networking

One of the most rewarding ways to stay on top of your industry is face-to-face networking. Professional relationships can often develop into deep and powerful friendships especially when met on a regular basis. It is important to keep in mind that you have a wide range of people you can work with. Obviously the people that are directly related in your industry are a great choice, but so are the industry suppliers, long term customers, and people who work in closely related fields. Join an organization where you can learn so much just from talking to people.

So in many professions it is important to stay on top of the industry trends in order to help you build expertise, command respect of your team and be in a better place to seek out opportunities.

Article contributed by Amy Cowen

Being a tutor, Amy Cowen has a great experience of work with students – from providing assignment help at Aussiessay to giving career advice. She often writes for different blogs in her free time.

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