We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a task when, suddenly, you’re prompted to do a software upgrade. But as annoying as these alerts are, they are a reminder of how fast products and services evolve and how easy it is to become outdated.
In one year, how you navigate a feature on a popular piece of software can change completely — making it mandatory to refresh your abilities. Here are a few tips to help you keep your skills sharp.
Assess your skills regularly
While it may not be necessary to do a skills assessment every month, doing one every six months will ensure you are staying current. You can also follow the release of products you use for work closely to ensure you are up to date with product capabilities.
Read industry content
It’s a good idea to sign up for industry blogs and journals, as they are generally the first to alert users of important changes in widely used tools. If you are uncertain of who to follow or who not to read, ask your colleagues.
Take a class
You don’t have to sign up at your local college to take a class these days. In fact, many of the skills needed in day-to-day operations can be learned online or even through an app. There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube and there are tons of learning platforms available, like Udemy and Grovo. In some cases, you may be able to get your employer to pay for all or part of the cost.
Attend industry conferences
In addition to networking, conferences offer an array of lectures by industry leaders, as well as workshops. And if conferences are out of your price range, you can check Meetup.com to see if there’s a group that caters to your profession. Meetups are usually free and offer a great platform for discussion about new products and features.
Consult with a recruiter from a recruiting firm
A recruiter from a recruiting firm can give you the most accurate picture of what skills employers are looking for and give you a rundown of what skills are considered cutting-edge. In most cases, they will also be able to give you feedback on areas where your skills may be falling short.
Keeping yourself current is not an easy task and can take a lot of dedication and time. But with a few small changes to your routine, it can become manageable.
Belo Cipriani is a recruiting professional and an award-winning author. He is also a freelance journalist, and has been a featured guest lecturer at both Yale University and the University of San Francisco. In conjunction with Granite Solutions Groupe, he also writes GSG Connections. Learn more at BeloCipriani.com.