Keep Your Finger on the Pulse
It’s been said that the only constant is change. Whether it’s because of technological advances or shifting ideals based on new discoveries, things can change drastically in a short amount of time. It’s important now more than ever to qualify yourself not only as an expert in your field, but as someone who possesses the ability to adapt. Doing so will give you confidence to succeed, as well as make you identifiable to others as one who gets things done. The key to staying relevant is to be observant and know what’s happening around you.
First and foremost, make sure you’re up to date on all of your training. When’s the last time you completed continuing education units? Is there any specific training your employer has suggested? What information will be beneficial to your clients? The answers will vary based on what you specialize in and the current goals of your firm and/or clients. Determine what needs to be done and develop a plan of action.
Pursuing your continuing education online is a great option. You can do it on your own time and in many cases any necessary expenses will be reimbursed. Talk to your direct supervisor prior to signing up for a particular training online to verify. If you have your own firm or work alone, it is still in your best interest to keep learning. Staying informed will instill confidence in others regarding your intelligence and abilities.
It’s impossible to know exactly what the future holds. However, by being aware of your surroundings, you can have an idea of where things are heading. Pay attention to what your colleagues are doing. If there’s a particular area of interest to you that you don’t understand, put in the time to gain knowledge. Ask people for help if they are experienced in that realm.
Over time you can learn to predict trends and movements and you’ll be able to stay one step ahead of them. You don’t have to be a wizard, but it doesn’t hurt to make people wonder if you are.
Set Yourself Apart
It’s good to be well rounded, but it’s also good to be an expert at something. Find a space you can occupy where you are an authority on what you do. Become a teacher – let others drink from the fountain of your knowledge. When your legend spreads, you’ll be the one people come to for guidance.
Consider specializing in a certain area. For example, if you’re an accountant, work specifically for dentists. As you become familiar with their practices and develop a rapport, it’s highly likely they’ll recommend you to their associates. Through word of mouth, you can develop a loyal client base. There’s no better endorsement than a community of trusted professionals that recommend your services to the people they care about.
When you have the ability to adapt, you have the ability to expand your knowledge and network. By learning to embrace change, instead of fearing it, you will become adept at sailing the seas of your industry and success will not be a whimsical notion, but rather, your constant destination.
Ernie Ness writes for Excel University. When not in the office, he enjoys the great outdoors and fine cuisine.