Know Your Industry And Impress Your Boss

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

Are you up to speed on your industry? Do you know what the bigwigs are up to? If you want to catch the eye of your employer or interviewer and blow them away bring up current trends, recent market shifts or industry predictions and watch them melt into stunned little puddles of joy. When you can speak about matters pertinent to an entry-level position that's fabulous. When you can speak with knowledge about matters that go beyond your pay grade then that’s just fabulouser.  Way fabulouser. Yes, I made that word up.

If you’re looking for a job in finance make sure you’re up to speed on what’s happening globally, we’re not just a country economy anymore. What are corn prices doing to clothing manufacturing? How is green technology going to influence outsourcing? When Warren Buffett gets a cold does the price of Kleenex go up or down?

If you’re in advertising look into QR codes and if they're just fashion or actually useful for your clients. How are privacy issues impacting social media outreach?  Do chicks really dig that Old Spice Guy?

So how the heck do you find out this stuff? Only about fifty gazillion ways.

Here are a few:

The SmartBrief: indispensable, seriously, indispensable. Pick your industry and sign up. Practice saying stuff like, “I read in Thursday’s Smart Brief that M & M’s will be changing their name to W & W’s but all consumers need to do is turn them upside down, how brilliant is that?”  Also a fantastic job search info resource.

Google Alerts: this is an amazing FREE tool from our overlords at Google. Learn it now, it can help with a job search and when you’re the new kid on the block you can set up alerts for your new employer’s competitors, industry news, who Ke$ha is dating and why anyone cares, stuff like that. They can be set up a hundred different ways and will definitely get you into the conversation.

Your industry’s national trade publications will also have a website, daily emails, etc that you can read to keep up on what’s happening.  Also a way to learn who the rock stars are nationwide. And who just got slapped with a subpoena so you can withdraw your letter asking them to be your mentor.

And speaking of mentors, this is the reason they were invented. Go to them with the article you just read, the stats you just learned or the trend you think you’ve spotted and ask them for help clarifying what you’ve seen. They’re the best at helping you make sense of the endless information that will be coming your way. And it will help them make progress in their own career when you’re continually keeping them up with what you find.

As a member of Generation Y you’re well versed in finding what you want and incorporating it into your daily life. You’re all about the immediate, you’re early adopters and trendsetters yourselves. This is just the same. It’s all about who’s doing what, why and how. And how, why and what you can do to use this to your advantage.

What do you use to stay current in your field?


AfterSchool Career Workshops is the ultimate one-to-one job search event. Our classes are small to encourage discussion and we stay until everyone is heard. To learn more or, even better, to sign up for an upcoming workshop take a spin around our site! Or do you know someone who could use some extra attention? We also offer private one-to-one coaching and gift certificates!




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