Bec: How to keep up with your industry while working 9–5

Bec is a USQ alumnus who graduated from a Bachelor of Business, she is an avid traveller and was named as the 2015 Australian Institute of Management Young Manager of the Year.

So you’ve landed a great job, are in the midst of building your career and your days seem to be getting busier. When was the last time that you checked in with your industry?

Today? Yesterday? A month ago? I don’t have time for that. Many of us will say the latter.

I don’t recall any of my university lecturers mentioning that my career would see me constantly juggling deadlines, that I would be inundated with emails and that I would categorise a day at work by time allotments of 15 minutes here… 30 minutes at that meeting and woohoo! 5 minutes to grab some lunch!

When I fully immersed myself into full-time work, I had to say farewell to one of my favourite pastimes. Gone are those precious hours of time spent procrastinating, reading really interesting journal articles and searching my dear friend google for the latest industry reports. To put it frankly, I had to say farewell to my own time. And I know I’m not alone. I hear many of my friends and co-workers speak about this very situation regularly.

It’s something we all want to do, but how can you actually find the time to keep up with industry trends and keep abreast of the rapidly changing work environments that we live in when you have so many other things to do?

I think it comes down to making this a priority. Not only are you continuing to evolve your knowledge, you’re also making yourself a more informed professional in your workplace and taking small steps in the progression of your career. The more you know, the more you have to bring to the table. Time is precious, so let’s get to it!

1. Block time in your calendar
Find half an hour in your calendar and, as the saying goes, ‘lock it in Eddie’. If you don’t make this a priority, it won’t be a priority. Personally, I find Friday afternoons a ‘go to’ time for this.

2. Persistence is key
So you have kept to your first calendar arrangement. Well done you! Sending you a telepathic pat on the back. But have you organised your next meeting date? If this calendar appointment falls off your priority list for one month, make sure that it is re-added for the next! Consistently adding this time to your calendar will see it start becoming business as usual. Better yet, set it up as a recurring appointment.

3. Stalk job descriptions
Signing up to LinkedIn and recruitment websites like SEEK allows you to keep your finger on the pulse with the evolution of job titles in your industry, shifts in keywords and skills in job descriptions. This is such a simple way to stay in the loop (and you never know what great opportunities you might find!).

4. You had me at ‘subscribe’
Many blogs, websites and social media accounts allow you to subscribe. This means you have interesting articles coming directly to you. However, utilise this functionality wisely. Quality over quantity. Only subscribe to sites if you find them really interesting… otherwise, they will end up in your deleted items and add to your email congestion. Not that interested anymore? Make sure you regularly clear out your subscriptions by unfollowing or unsubscribing. These unwanted emails could be taking away valuable opportunities for you to discover new and inspiring content!

Tick tock. 

Get your priorities straight and make the most of your precious time. By making a plan and sticking to it you can build your knowledge base and succeed at work!

If you’d like more information about how to boost your graduate employability, please contact the Careers & Employability Team.


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