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How do you keep up to date with your job/industry?

Companies like employees who keep growing professionally, and who like their profession enough to put work into their career. Career minded employees work harder, stick with companies longer as long as there’s opportunity for upward movement, and contribute to a more positive work environment.

If you can’t honestly answer this question with something positive, then you aren’t managing your career correctly. Keeping up to date with a profession or with business in general leads to higher paying positions, with more responsibility and more flexibility. As you reflect on this question, and if you don’t already, get involved with some ways to learn more about your career.

Good answers include mentioning things that help a career. These range from taking classes, to being involved in professional organizations, to reading industry publications. It’s a good idea to know about the company and whether they offer opportunities for education compensation or bonuses.

Continued Education:
“I attend seminars and am working through classes at the local college – my goal is a business degree. One of the keys to my interest in this job is that your company pays for courses as long as I achieve a B. So far it’s all A’s.”

Reading Materials:
“I read whatever I can about management, including some books my last boss recommended. I just finished 100 Habits of Highly Successful Managers – do you recommend any good books?”

It’s also a good idea to mention ways keeping up with the profession has helped your career, focusing on how it helped former employers.

Implemented something learned:
“Funny you should ask that question. I just finished a project at my last company for which we outsourced some development. It saved us 30% over the cost of in house work. I got the idea to outsource after reading a case study in Business World.”

Warning about a trend:
“Good thing I read Forbes. Last October there was an article about an upcoming supply shortage for an element of one of our key products. We bought a lot and stored them – good thing, not only was there a shortage, they were unavailable completely. Our production would have come to a standstill.”

Keeping up to date won’t always have that direct an effect, but you can easily come up with ways education, tips, or even general networking paid dividends.

“I attend weekly meetings of the local software developer group, even though I’m in sales. It turned out one of the other members needed our development platform for their new project. I’d have never made that sale without that group.”

One potential employee gave the worst answer ever heard, “I go to interviews at other companies, a foot in the door for corporate espionage.”

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