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Using Knowledge and New Technology to make the most of your career

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A brilliant person in front of the competition probably has a library full of books at home or in the office. Did you know the old books learned from in the beginning of your career can be replaced in three years with new technology and information recently developed, supplied and penned? The markets in many businesses change quickly, that's why professions in engineering jobs and accounting jobs require continuing education courses for members every year to renew their license or update their knowledge. Take a look at the tax professionals. Laws can change every year and after several tax seasons, the government can revise the tax law so that what you did last year, or three years ago, does not resemble the tax requirements today. Another field that is constantly in change is the computer industry. Just in Network Marketing, new marketing techniques are being added every year. This year the big word is ''social networking.'' Nobody tells you that Network Marketing requires you to update your knowledge. There are only market demands that make you keep up with competition. If you don't learn the new trends and technologies available, you'll always be a step behind.

What's on your reading agenda scattered across your living room coffee table? If it's the latest ''Cars Today'' magazines or ''What's Hot and what's not in the Kitchen?'' magazines, then, unless your business is cars or cooking, you better shape up your reading collection.

Here's a list of 10 suggestions developed to give you some good thoughts on how to pursue new technology and knowledge to keep up!

  1. Subscribe to the Industry magazine that reports on changes in your profession. You can ask other professionals what they are reading.

  2. Subscribe to magazines that alert you of business trends from a national or world perspective. Get at least two of them for your coffee table. The business trends often trickle down to your industry. You can foresee a lot that can happen to your business just by watching the trends. For instance, you're an engineer, the economy is slowing down and every business is being affected. Stores are going out of business and retail sales are in a slump. But wait, the federal government is dumping money into a program that will restore the nation's infrastructure. This will create plenty of new jobs in industries that might be in a lull right now. So, you have time to position yourself for new opportunities in construction of highways, water systems, levees, dams and bridges. They are predicted to offer jobs in construction. Construction is an industry, which has seen all time lows in unemployment rates last year.

  3. Read books that help broaden your perspective in life. Books that will help you develop better problem solving skills to be ready for changes in the future.

  4. Are you thinking, ''I'm too busy to read''? Do some problem solving and take a look at the options. There are plenty of books on tape, so while you're running or driving put one in your cassette player and listen.

  5. Join a reading club that meets once a week to discuss an assigned book. Better yet, start a book club of your own where you work. The boss will find it grand that you took such action. Fellow workers will be up to date and can be helpful in getting new trends established in your business. Who should you invite to the book club? Invite the lowest to the highest. Invite the people with entry-level jobs, engineering jobs, marketing jobs, and the software engineer and even the person who does the recruiter job for your department. Oh, go ahead and invite the lunch lady if she's interested. Remember to suggest members keep the book at bedside so it can be read a little every night.

  6. Did you know you can get an online clipping service to tag articles and clip them for areas you are interested in tracking? Take these to your book club or write special alerts on the subject in an email and pass along to fellow colleagues. Sharing updates in business is something you want to do. After all, you are all working towards similar goals to improve the business.

  7. Start a coffee group in the morning and assign different papers to each coffee member to read for industry news and clip the articles. Put them in a photo type book where you can just slip the clipping into a slot. Keep the book available to everyone to get access to the news.

  8. Take a book with you where ever you go in case you have some time to read while you are waiting.

  9. Schedule time to go to seminars, conferences or technology updates in your career field.

  10. Check out college classes being offered in you field, whether it's civil engineer work or recruiting work for civil engineers in your firm. Take the time to upgrade your educational training. This could especially be applicable in industries that change so often or those that add new techniques, procedures, or laws that can make sweeping changes in your field.
By putting these things on your agenda, you are doing more for your career than you realize. You are setting yourself up as an expert because you are looking forward and always coming up with new information as it appears in the market. You are enabling you colleagues and becoming a leader. You are giving yourself more value on the job and gaining the respect of your peers, not to mention your bosses. What a good way to get ahead in your job and bring the support up, right along with you. It's much easier to cover all the scores of information that is printed and blasted across the Internet when your colleagues are involved in the research. Make it convenient and make it pleasant to be involved. What a different atmosphere it can be when you don't have bosses listening to your contributions. It makes it so that there is a little less stress in presenting. Then your peers can support you without people vying for the boss's attention. It will create a safe teamwork atmosphere and allow people to practice presentation and contribute.
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