The Importance of Staying Current in Your Field

Professionals looking at futuristic display

As professionals immerse themselves in their careers and personal responsibilities, it can be challenging to remain knowledgeable about current trends and industry changes. Technology is transforming industries at an exponential rate, which makes it difficult for professionals to keep up with the impacts on their field. Being aware of the latest news in your industry can increase your value within your organization and equip you with a professional advantage.

Articles and Journals

Articles and professional journals are one good way to learn about industry innovations. The scholarly research and content published in each one is typically focused on a specific topic. Journals are published on a regular frequency, which varies from publication to publication--some monthly, some bi-weekly, some quarterly. Becoming a subscriber gives you access to a scholarly perspective on a regular basis.

Podcasts

You can also subscribe to a podcast related to your field or follow the podcasts of professionals in your industry. These digital audio files are a useful resource and can be easily accessed. Podcasts can be conveniently played while performing other activities such as commuting or working out.

Conferences and Webinars

Set a goal to attend at least one conference or webinar a year. Conferences are a good way to learn about interesting and unique topics. They also offer the opportunity to network and collaborate. Webinars are a convenient information source because they are offered over the internet. While webinars do not offer the same opportunities to collaborate in person, they are easier to access than conferences and occur on a more frequent basis.

Social Media

Create a professional social media account and follow business leaders or professional organizations. This resource connects you instantly to a broad scope of industry information, events and news. Social media also provides a forum for individuals who share similar interests to convene.

Open Courseware

Through open courseware, you have open access to free, digitally-published college-level educational materials. You can acquire new skills in a wide range of disciplines. Many of the learning exercises are interactive, and the sequences are usually self-paced. Some of the courses also offer certificates of completion.

Professional Associations

Joining a professional association shows your dedication to your field. It enhances your resume and can connect you to local and global professionals in your field. You may find resources to support your professional development and effective forums for marketing yourself. These associations can also keep you posted about updates to industry standards and policies.

Networking

It often takes a job search to motivate professionals to attend networking events. However, networking events are a good way for professionals to meet each other and learn about industry trends. A network can also provide informal career advice and support.

Alumni Networks

Join and actively participate in your college alumni association. Attend sporting events or volunteer to be a mentor. Most colleges provide their graduates with lifetime access to career resources, such as speaker events in a variety of disciplines. Alumni networks can broaden your knowledge of other industries and disciplines, potentially connecting you to new opportunities.

By staying current in your career field, you can strengthen your professional skills and enhance your business acumen. Over time, knowing what’s happening in your professional landscape and connecting with the resources and contacts to stay current can even facilitate promotions. Ultimately, remaining aware of current trends can make you an asset to your organization and, more importantly, to your industry.

Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business offers degrees to help you become a leader in your field. If you are interested in learning more about what GCU has to offer, click on the Request Info button at the top of your screen.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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