Keeping up-to-date in your career field is an integral part of being successful. Why? Because having the information needed to stay one step ahead of the game is extremely valuable with decision-making in leading your co-workers or employees. Luckily, with the world of social media, you can stay ahead of the curve with a few quick swipes and notifications, in addition to the traditional trade publications.
Though it's easier to navigate online publications in the digital space -- mostly because search engines will bring you the most up-to-date information -- traditional, hard-copy publications are still an essential part of keeping up with your industry. To find the best options for your work, you should initiate a conversation with either someone higher in the chain of command or a co-worker who has been involved in the business for a long time -- someone whose intellect and knowledge bank you respect. Ask the person which publications he or she has depended on for knowledge over the years, and sign up for them. Make sure to check in with your company and see whether it will cover the costs for you.
You can also check out a newsstand in your neighborhood to see the most popularly ordered trade magazines. Ask the attendant which ones sell more frequently than others. You can often tell a lot by finding out what others think is valuable and incorporating that into your reading routine, as well.
If you attend conferences for your line of work, make sure to network and talk to others about what they're reading. This is especially useful if you're surrounded by people from all different locations and demographics, because it can help you grow by finding out what others are reading beyond your backyard.
Digitally, you've got a world of insight available with the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen. You can sign up for lots of online publications and have them immediately sent to your smartphone, tablet or computer via email. You can get an app on your phone. With the popular app "Texture," you can search based on your specific area of expertise and get a list of publications that match -- often rated by other users to show what's most popular. Most of these types of apps allow you to search based on the field you're looking for and then select multiple options from there. You can try out different ones and will most likely find, in a very short period of time, what clicks with you and what you can do without.
Social media can be another helpful tool when looking for the types of articles and publications you might otherwise have difficulty trying to find. If you use hashtags -- #realestate, for example -- you will often get the timeliest answers with links to various external sites. This is a great way to start the day. Whether utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or another social network, you can quickly search some hashtags related to your job and see whether anything trending pops up and whether anyone has mentioned certain things. In addition to the ease of acquiring this information, it's also a relatively quick way of staying on top of current events in your field, as most of the hashtags will bring you directly to the source of the feeds within seconds. You can spend as little as two minutes each time you search, a small amount of time for a big piece of information that could make you stand out at your next meeting or event.
If you are looking for more ways to learn through reading but are struggling to find the time to do so, you can get some popular publications to listen to, as well, in the form of podcasts. Podcasts are increasing rapidly in their number of listeners every day. You can use iTunes or SoundCloud as your main source to connect to experts and their featured guests, searching to find exactly what you want. And in addition to the ease of finding the right podcast for you, most of them are free. Next time you're planning to drive home in an hour's worth of traffic, try playing your downloaded podcast in the car to save time and to help you relax.
With all of these options available, take advantage. Make sure to add one new publication -- whether it's in the traditional, digital or auditory form -- to your daily routine. Before long, you'll be more self-reliant than ever in your line of work.