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The world is changing faster than ever, and as a result, so are many industries. It’s very possible that by the end of your career, the field you work in looks hardly anything like it did when you first started out. With conditions changing constantly and new trends and practices dominating your industry, it can be hard to feel that you’re staying relevant and evolving with the changing landscape.
Some industries are evolving faster than others. Most notably, the home automation industry, the travel industry, and the retail industry are all undergoing immense changes that could redefine the field completely. Yet even if your field isn’t at the forefront of revolutionary change, all industries evolve in some capacity, and it is important to keep up.
Whether you’re a business owner or just a professional looking to stay on top of your field, there are many tips and tricks to keep up with an evolving industry. By following a handful of guidelines, you can ensure that you stay relevant in your field and others don’t pass you by just because you stayed stuck in old ways. While keeping up with changes might be intimidating, it will also be an exciting challenge throughout your career.
1. Outsource Advice and Expertise
If you’re not sure where to start on learning about your evolving industry and the ways it has and will change, a great first step would be to look to experts for advice. You can hire a consulting firm, such as JD Edwards Consulting, to consult you on how best to adapt to a changing environment. Seeking expert advice will allow you to receive personalized tips that can help you specifically, or your business, thrive in a changing industry.
If you work within a company, you can also set up informational meetings with higher-ups who are likely to know more about the ways your industry is evolving. They can help to explain and give a fuller picture of the state of the field, as well as give you personal advice on how you can work to be successful.
Top industry professionals are often happy to spread their knowledge and assist younger or less experienced individuals in figuring out how they can have the most successful careers possible. One option is to speak with a higher-ranking person within your company, but you can also reach out to any person in your field who you think has expertise to offer and would be willing to share it with you.
2. Follow media outlets and publications
Another great way to keep up with an evolving industry would be to subscribe to publications in your field. Every industry has a handful of leading publications that you can follow and subscribe to at little to no cost. This is a perfect opportunity to stay up-to-date with current events in your field, read profiles of people successful in the business, and keep up with any controversial developing topics.
Reading blog posts and magazines in your industry will also debrief you on any more complex issues you may not have the time to fully dive into. Industry publications will consolidate lengthy, detailed industry reports into easily digestible articles. Reading these will keep you in the know so that you can adjust your own opinions on the state of the field as well as speak eloquently to colleagues and customers.
Being informed on your field will not only make you a better professional, but will also recruit customers and offer opportunities for promotions or other employment opportunities.
3. Don’t resist change
Sometimes, changes in your industry might disappoint you. This is inevitable. You might miss the way things used to be done, or prefer things the field is moving away from. It’s natural to dislike where some trends are heading or wish you didn’t have to change your ways along with the industry. This thinking, though, will only risk you falling behind.
You might be surprised at how when you get used to changes, you will start to like them. Think about how jarring it is when your phone first updates, or when apps update. It’s unfamiliar, it seems disorienting, and it feels disruptive. You might not have had any issues with how it was before the update, so you find it annoying to learn how to navigate new functions on your phone.
In a few weeks, however, the new update probably starts to feel familiar and natural, and you might even come to appreciate many of the new features. This is how adapting to industry changes might feel. At first, learning all these new tricks of the trade might seem bothersome since you never found issues with the old ways of doing things. But once you accept them and learn about them, you might come to appreciate them. Sooner than later, they will just feel natural.
4. Anticipate changes to come
Rather than being reactive when your industry begins to actually see major changes, try to be proactive and anticipate changes before they happen. This can be accomplished by generally staying up-to-date on reading about your industry, speaking with other professionals, and doing your own research. Plan out scenarios in your head and imagine how you or your company would react if they were to happen.
Engaging in these types of thought exercises is a great way to plan for industry changes before they hit. If you have a plan for how you would adapt if an industry change were to happen, you will be better prepared if and when it does. This will remove some of the stress of feeling behind when it feels like your industry is changing faster than you can keep up with.
5. Conduct Market Research to Test New Ideas
You might have an idea for a new product or service that you think will meet the competitive needs of your evolving industry. Maybe you thought of the perfect new product that feels like it will be relevant and up-to-date with industry changes. Before incorporating that new idea into your business, you might want to test the waters first.
Consider conducting market research as a way to feel the pulse of your potential customers. This will determine whether your new idea is likely to take off, and will also allow you to see the bigger picture of what customers are looking for and how their needs might be changing. If you get the green light from your findings, whether that’s through surveys or personal conversations, you can feel assured that your idea is likely going to do extremely well.
If you commit to embracing industry changes, educating yourself about them, and taking steps to adapt to them, you will not have to worry about falling behind in your field. Through a commitment to staying ahead of the curve, you can ensure that you and your business thrive in a changing industry.
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