Keeping up with continuous career change

career-change-by-grant-cochrane.jpgMany of us work in changing competitive environments. If we don't keep up with news and trends, we can miss key opportunities and can be caught unawares. Keeping your skills current is one of the most important ways you can do your job well and stay on top of changing demands of the workplace. It can also help you prepare for new opportunities that may arise at work and help you keep your job in a difficult economy.

The need to constantly adapt is the new reality for many workers, well beyond the information technology business. Financial Managers, engineers, doctors, even Hollywood special effects designers — virtually everyone whose job is touched by computing — are being forced to find new, more efficient ways to learn as retooling becomes increasingly important not just to change careers, but simply to stay competitive on your chosen path.

All this really means is adding new skills to and existing job. It’s hard to know what skills you need to work on and not work on unless you know what skills you have. Your first step in developing your career-related skills is to take an inventory of your current skills and identify skills you need to acquire. Learning new skills can be stimulating and motivating, and it can help keep your mind young.

Periodically check out adverts and person specifications for roles that are either similar to yours or are in line with the role you're looking for next.

Keeping up-to-date with your industry is key for building expert power. By developing additional expertise in your job and your industry, you'll earn the trust and respect of the people around you. From a leadership perspective, that is invaluable!

There are a number of great, not to mention affordable, ways for you to keep your skills and knowledge current.

Taking a course 
Many colleges, learning centers, and other community groups offer low cost courses in most fields. 

Developing your network opens doors to new ideas, people, and careers. It can help you find new opportunities in the workforce, help you keep up to date with the trends and provide you access to important industry news. And the more people in your network, the more people there are who know you, know your work ethic, and are there to recommend you for a job.

Industry news
Industry journals, magazines, and newspapers. These are published regularly and provide the latest in trends, research findings, and notable people.

Online sources
There are various blogs, forums or groups you can join that are industry specific. LinkedIn offers a great platform to stay up to date with what is happening in your niche. There are also online education resources you can utilize. Online classes, in particular, allow you to fit learning into your own schedule and to go at your own pace.

Finally, remember that strengthening your skills may bring benefits even if it doesn't lead to a quick raise, promotion, or Employee of the Month award. Few things are more rewarding than pursuing -- and achieving -- an important goal. Over time, the confidence you gain from keeping your skills sharp may extend into other areas and give you a new optimism not just about your work, but about your ability to meet any other challenges that life may bring.

Looking for a new challenge in your career? Communicate Recruitment is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

Credit: by Grant Cochrane