Reinventing Yourself, Staying Current with Technology

It changes daily. PC, internet, mobile devices, wireless, cloud computing…it is there, happening, changing and emerging every day.

So, how do we, as professionals working in the technology industry stay current on what is available and impacting our work and personal spaces.

Simplify and Prioritize! There is just too much technology, moving too fast in too little time. As an IT and business professional in banking, you have made your career by choosing a certain path and building your knowledge, expertise and experience around that center. The same goes for technology.

To keep up your marketable skills and knowledge, you need a strategy that reduces the task to a manageable level and allows you to continue to add value to your resume.

Figure out what you need to know about.

You need to focus on the areas that are most relevant. Prepare a list, and remember to be as specific as possible. Do you want to keep an eye on enterprise applications integration? Is VoIP important to your plans? Are developments in the open source world particularly interesting to you?  What will you need to support the next “big thing” in the industry within which you work?

Look for Resources

In Periodicals. One nice thing about technology news is that you can find most of the information you need freely available on the Internet. What you cannot find there may be found in technical journals or even technology-based mass market magazines.

In Books. Although technical books can quickly become outdated, if you are just learning about a subject they are a great way to come up to speed.

From People. If there is someone you know socially or an associate in your organization who is a guru, then climb the mountain and ask them your question. Or, connect with user groups online, on sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook or through your professional organizations.

On the Internet. There is a glut of information on the Internet. But if you have come up with some specific topics, then your search may be much easier. You can connect with key users or industry leaders through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs or websites.

Sort your resources.

Eliminate redundant Web sites. Find two to three credible websites that speak to you and the topic in which you are building expertise. This will allow you to keep current, but not be overwhelmed with “keeping up” with the information coming through your email or on your reading list.

Add education to your schedule.

If you see staying current with technology as a priority, then you will need to treat it like a priority. Set aside some time each day to review the news or read your books. But treat this as a professional task.

Volunteer to work on a project.

If you can assist on a segment of a project which requires your interaction with something new, you will gain hands on experience.

Bottom line, keep an open mind and get involved with something new whenever possible.  You never know when it may come in handy at your next assignment.

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