8 Ways to Keep Your Knowledge and Skills Current

By MBO Partners | July 28, 2021

Share
people looking at computer

In today’s competitive business world, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Your knowledge and skills can be the difference between landing the assignments and clients you want and struggling to prove your value.

Having knowledge and skills above and beyond the basics of your field can give you a professional advantage. Here are eight ways to keep your job skills and knowledge up-to-date.

1. Take Professional Development Courses

Professional development courses can help you expand your professional skill set, learn something new, or even earn academic credit to put towards a degree. Online training courses are particularly convenient because they are affordable and flexible. Just be careful to do your homework—evaluate instructor bios, read reviews, and check the syllabus carefully before putting down your credit card. You can also find professional development courses through vendor-taught classes, traditional universities, and training institutions.

2. Use Online Resources

The Internet is a limitless source of free information and educational resources. Attend educational webinars, follow the blogs or social media accounts of industry experts, or bookmark and regularly check industry news sites and online forums to stay current on the latest trends. If you haven’t already, sign up for news alerts for your inbox (Google Alerts works well) or set up an RSS feed like Feedly.com to easily put all of your industry news in one place.

3. Attend Professional Events

Professional events are valuable ways to learn about growth and development in your industry. Local companies, business associations, and professional groups often host seminars, forums, or workshops that can give you direct access and insight to experts in your profession. Treat these events as constructive networking opportunities to brainstorm and share ideas with colleagues who can provide fresh insight and perspective.

4. Network Online

As an independent consultant, you know the importance of building and maintaining a list of contacts to ensure a steady flow of work. Use LinkedIn to connect with high-ranking people at companies you’re interested in working with. Employ social media platforms to promote your own service or brand, network with industry experts, and keep in touch with former and current clients.

Start by finding which social site works best for you—connect with fans and followers on Facebook, creatively network and share news on Twitter, or utilize blogging to boost your online credibility, and connect with potential clients.

5. Invest in Continuing Education and Certifications

While continuing education and certification programs typically require a more intensive time and financial obligation, they can help boost reliability, and demonstrate a commitment to your profession. Becoming proficient in a new software platform before it becomes mainstream, committing to upholding industry standards through a certification program, or staying on top of market trends by taking a class can increase your income and position you competitively within your line of business.

6. Follow Thought Leaders on Social Media

Social media platforms have given thought leaders a new outlet for sharing valuable information, insights, and practical advice. Seek out and follow both industry leaders in verticals you specialize in and those who specialize in skill areas you have or want to build. By reading regular posts, you can not only gain additional knowledge, but you can also build relationships by commenting and reacting to posts and increase visibility of your business and skills by sharing their content.

7. Read White Papers and Case Studies

Top companies, consulting organizations, agencies, and think tanks regularly publish white papers and case studies on industry trends and often offer them for download at no cost.  Stay up to date on industry and business trends by taking advantage of these resources.

8. Determine Hard and Soft Skills to Develop

Conducting a self-assessment to determine your hard and soft skills and target those you want to develop should be a core activity in your professional development. A self-assessment test such as CliftonStrengths Assessment will measure your natural ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving, and you’ll get access to personalized reports that help you better understand what makes you unique and how to use your strengths to reach your full potential.

Maintaining enhanced knowledge and skills in your field shows clients you are well informed and dedicated. Set yourself up for success by investing in your job skills and knowledge today.


Find independent consulting jobs with top companies through MBO’s marketplace

Join Today!


Related Posts

man working at computer looking at mountain

How to Become a Freelancer for Big Companies: 4 Steps

October 12, 2021

There are many benefits to working with large enterprises when you run your own small business. Higher-value contracts, bigger budgets, and the opportunity to gain credibility with a recognizable name—just to name a few. However, in order to be attractive to big organizations, independent professionals must first ensure they have a reliable, trustworthy business in…

consultants working in office

How to Create a Contingency Plan for Small Business: 4 Steps

October 5, 2021

For many in the business world, a common saying is: “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” This saying rings particularly true for small business owners who often have to carefully balance each aspect of their business—especially in unforeseen situations. Whether you’re sidelined by a family emergency, unavailability of resources, or other…

5 Books for Remote Workers

September 17, 2021

If you’re one of the many independent professionals who work remotely, you know how great the flexibility can be. The ability to personalize your work space, take ownership over how you complete your work, and finding routines that work for you are great perks. But all benefits aside, it can still be a challenge to…

Learn more about the MBO Platform

For Independent Professionals

Start, run, and grow your independent business with MBO

For Enterprises

Find, manage and retain top-tier independent talent