“How do I stay relevant in such a dynamic environment?” That’s a question I often get from professionals trying to stay ahead in their careers. Today’s workplace demands more of professionals because the marketplace has such high level expectations of organizations. If you’re not staying ahead, you’re falling behind. Even just keeping up is no longer good enough. With multiple generations in the workplace and rapid technology advancements, your workplace is extremely competitive.
No matter what stage of your career you’re in, you’re challenged with this question of staying relevant. Following are some strategies that I’ve crowd sourced from my network that will help you stay on top of your game. As you read through these, take an inventory of strategies you use today, which ones you need to refresh, and new ideas you can put into practice.
“I think the key is to always be looking toward the future – what is future technology, what are the future trends and to always be a learner. What you already know helped you get where you are, what you are able to learn will get you to your future. Don’t get comfortable with being comfortable.”
“In the financial planning profession, staying relevant is critical on several levels. First, there have always been “continuing education” requirements to ensure one maintains an acceptable level of education and competence. Secondly, the pursuit of advanced designations (CFP, ChFC, CPA, etc.) to move from competence to expertise is a must. With the thousands of “advisors” to choose from, clients should demand this expertise of any prospective advisor he/she chooses to engage. Thirdly, technology is significantly impacting our industry. Cloud based software applications, social media tools, and other technological innovations enable us to provide an amazing level of service to clients. Embracing this technology isn’t always easy, but it is a must to stay relevant.”
Mike Waldridge, ChFC
Partner, Senior Financial Advisor, ARGI
“We live in a world full of challenges for the “Older Workforce”. As an Adult Learner, I am consistently seeking opportunities to stay engaged. Currently I am committed to two organizations; one professional and the other community involvement. Both enhance my knowledge, skills and attitude. Also, I utilize the Soft Skills courses where I’m employed to enrich my effective communication skills and manage my emotional intelligence. Finally, I am very active with the youth. We not only need to manage up we must also manage down.”
“I have found staying relevant requires sharing your skills in your community. Now eight years into retirement, I have been consistently requested to use my skills to help other organizations. Volunteering allows for others to see your skills in action for a good cause. My volunteerism has turned into another income stream.
Staying relevant also means staying engaged via social media. For example, the news media reported a lawsuit against Old Navy because women’s plus size clothing was more than men plus size clothing. I published a note on Facebook and later in one of our local newspapers on the differences in cost with data from my own suppliers. I believe giving consumers more information about this topic allowed for my relevancy to increase.”
Sharon A. Reed Corbett
Director Leadership Kokomo
Ivy Tech Corporate College
“Personally, I read as much as I can about the HR field. And, in terms of IT, I try to learn a new programming language every couple of months or watch some tutorials on different aspects of the industry.”
Niles Executive Recruitment
“It’s been my experience that aligning yourself with people that think differently than you is a great way to keep relevant. I’m confronted with that every day. People much younger than myself challenge me hourly with their ideas, their way of designing, even how differently they interact. Much differently from mine 30 years ago. I found that when I stepped into this stream I wasn’t pushed under to drown but was swept away with these new energies and outlooks. You can’t help but learn from them. Like Michelangelo said, “I’m still learning.” Keep doing that and you will stay relevant.”
Fourth Wall Murals
“Continue to explore seeking innovative concepts – select from those concepts revealed, the ones in which you can absorb and put to use more readily. Then repeat the process again and again seeking a higher degree of challenge.”
Phillip L Fletcher
“Always be ready to learn something new. ‘I’ve never done it before’ is not a good reason. Look for the things that make you stretch your thinking or your habits. Don’t let naysayers creep in and keep you from moving forward, even if they love you.”
“I agree with what Siobhan said…be ready to learn something new. This definitely applies to teaching! Along with new curricula, there are new strategies, methods, and assessments to learn about. We (teachers) also have to learn about our new students each year. No one class is like another. I make it a point to get to know my kids on a personal level…their siblings, pet name’s, favoritism sports team or activity. Teaching is all about flexibility, being willing to try new things, and reflecting on your successes and things that didn’t work.”