You can do something good for your business by keeping up with new practices in your industry. No matter type of work you do, from Fortune 500 entrepreneur to Stay at Home Mom, from freelancer writer to traditional employee, things at your job change on a regular basis. In order to be successful at your job, you cannot stay stuck in the past but must work to keep up with industry changes. It is important because changes may mean increased productivity, increased profitability, and a better work product.
Nostalgia has its place. Things that are oldies but goodies, get that name for a reason. That reason is that they work, they are ways of getting the job done. It is good to have an appreciation for old tried and true methods of carrying on business. Additionally, there is something to be said for the idea of sticking with the one who brought you to the dance. However, none of that changes the fact that as industries change, technologies, cultural norms and expectations change, so should the way we do business.
Think about Western Union and the telegraph. Once upon a time, the quickest way to send a message from one place to another was by a Western Union telegraph. For many years, this was the tried and true method counted on by people across the country. Today, we have a generation of people who have never heard of the telegram and do not know that Western Union, which now is used to pay bills and transfer money, was once the major source of long-distance communication in this country. Now, instead of telegrams, we have telephones, emails, video chats, and social media sharing.
Not too long ago, all stock trading took place via the New York Stock exchange. Today there are machines and computers that are so powerful they can do millions of trades in the time between you asking your broker to make a change to the time the broker says “hold on, I’ll take care of that for you.” Changes in the technology created has enabled day trading to become micro-trading. Day traders who did not move forward and do not understand micro-trading made it possible for other, larger players to make increased profits at the day trader’s expense.
In the not too distant past, when a writer sat done to create her work she pulled out a fountain pen, a Smith Corona typewriter or even an old word processing machine. Today I freelance writers use laptops, tablets or even smartphones to create their masterpieces. Even stay at home moms have to keep up with changes in the industry. For example, once upon a time, a homemaker would have to scour the Sunday newspapers for coupons. Some even purchased two Sunday papers so they could double their number of coupons each week. Today there are coupon applications available on smartphones which make it easier for homemakers to find ways to save money.
Take a look at your industry. Get our a pen and paper or your favorite electronic device. Write down your industry. Then write down three ways that things have changed at your job over the past three years. Next, write down areas where change for the better is now possible but you are still doing things the “old” way. Then commit yourself to adding new and improved methods to how you do your work. It is important to go from working harder, to working smarter. One way to do that is to add new and improved practices to your work methods.
It is thrilling to know you can do something good for your business by keeping up with new practices in your industry. So, the question for you this thrilling day is how do you keep up with developments in your industry.
When looking for employment, additional customers or new contracts it is important to educate one’s self. You are more valuable as an employee, entrepreneur or freelancer it is important to know what is going on in your industry. It is important for you to know the latest technology, the key players and the future of your industry. An employee who knows the current events in her industry is valuable to her employer. Entrepreneurs who keep up-to-date with technological advances can offer value added service to customers. Freelancers who know key industry players and plans are able to do a better job and to request additional fees and qualify for more opportunities.
Some other methods for keeping up with what is going on in your industry include:
* join the local chamber of commerce
* industry associations
* follow lobbying groups for your industry
These methods will keep you up to date with key players in your industry and with the newest happenings in your area and across the nation.
There are a number of ways to find publications specific to your industry including the following:
* Conduct an internet search
* Ask friends and family members employed in the industry
* Contact an employment agency and ask what publications are relevant for your industry
* Speak with a librarian for assistance in finding an industry-specific publication
* Talk with retailers at your local bookstore to ask for their recommendations
No matter what source you use to find an industry-specific publication, find at least one and start reading it on a regular basis.
If you want them to last, commit to appreciating your technology by taking care of…