Thursday, June 5, 2014

We are a growing creative agency, operating in an industry that is always advancing, which makes it an extremely exciting industry to be a part of.  Marketing demands that its professionals are always sharpening their skills.  For this reason, when we interview a new candidate for any area of the company, we always ask them what they are doing to continually stay on top of industry trends.

Some people are unsure how to answer this question, which I find a little disheartening.  Very often they first tell us how passionate they are about their career path but then are unable to share specific tools they use to exercise their passion on a regular basis, there is a disconnect for me here.

If you consider yourself passionate about the way you make your living, I believe your career would be a very big part of your life and thus integrated into everything, not just 9am - 5pm.  We want each team member to have passion for their area of expertise, from the President, to designers, janitors, developers and administrators, we want people who live their lives and complete their work with purpose and passion.

So maybe you'er not quite sure where to start to continue your learning.  Here are a few things I find useful for staying on top of my game.

I have a few mentors, these individuals are like friends who guide me through my professional and personal experiences, they act as sounding boards when I have ideas and are excellent about giving honest feedback.  Mentors may not always tell you what you want to hear but in my experience, its always what you need to hear.

Find some professionals in your field with great online resources and interaction.  I follow one sales professional, Paul Castain, who offers written resources on his website and podcasts that are packed with useful information.

Follow some people in your industry on social media, they will share information that is valuable to you and could potentially lead you to more resources, courses and groups within your areas of interest.

Most of all, make it fun.  The people and places where I source my professional resources from, also share some of my personal passions.  For example, Sandi Krakowski is a marketing mogul, she shares information about social engagement and does so while speaking about her faith and the positive impact it has had on her personal and career life.

When I began to merge the various interest in my life, I started to discover all the opportunities I had to advance my skills and live and work with passion!  I would love to know some of your strategies for staying fresh in your field, please feel free to share.