I was asked today how I ‘keep up’ in terms of staying ahead on trends, thought leadership, emerging technologies, etc.  Staying relevant (or fighting for relevance as I was six months ago when I returned from mat leave) is very time consuming.

For the moment, I dedicate 14 hours a week to keeping fresh – every night, every day of the week from 7 – 9pm just on new business startup, reading, engaging and learning.  (yes.. my house is a mess and I have scrapbooks that have no photos in them).

Admittedly, it is a tough practice for anyone in a profession moving a the speed of light and if you are like me – unsupported by those comfy subscriptions to Forresters, e-marketer or Jupiter, etc, then it can be a real challenge (thank god for twitter).

Okay – so how I keep up:

– twitter – following people I respect both local and international.

– following choice bloggers like Charlene Li (formerly Forrester) and George Colony from Forresters because I can’t get Forrester reports right now but can still follow their blogs

– read business books – which are not immediate sources of emerging tech or trends but give me strategies or structure or approaches to business

– volunteer and on the job training

– meet-ups, conferences, networking

and podcasts.

I wrote a piece for the 405 club, an amazing blog and NYC and now 50 states official unemployed network, on Fighting to be Relevant:

With the brain learning enthusiam of a mother coming off maternity leave, I fell into itunes to feed my commuter time and discovered a great deal of information available in podcast/videocast form.   After listening to many duds, I found some great podcasts.  Among my favorite podcasts are the University channel within iTunes.  I’ve been listening to Stanford’s Social Entrepreneurship podcasts as well as the Harvard ideacast channel. (See my favorite – an interview with Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia on the Stanford section).  I sprinkled in the daily news like the Wall Street Journal morning reviews  – a paper I can ill afford in the worst of times.   For entertainment, I watched/ listened to the Onion News Network and  Shill – a podcast about PR and social media featuring a great deal of swearing and whisky drinking (no ‘e’ – apparently they drink Scottish whisky).

here to read the whole post

One thought on “Becoming relevant in your field

  1. It’s partially related to getting older — even with reading glasses, it take more effort to read than I used to — so I’ve been spending a lot more time listening to podcasts.

    If you see me driving, bicycling, riding the subway or walking somewhere, I’ll have a earphone in one ear, plugged into my MP3 player. (Many people would use an iPod, I like the Creative Zen V). It’s like having a companion speaking into one ear (while I’m still connected to my immediate surrounds with the other ear open).

    I keep a blog of MP3 audio worth noting, as discipline to be a critical listener. (Alas, the MP3 audio blog, like the rest of my blogs, is way behind!)

    As much as I listen to digital audio, I actually dislike watching video because it ties me down to my computer … when I already spend lots more time on the computer than the average person. There’s occasions when I can split off the audio from the video, or just listen to the talk and not watch presentation slides. It’s rare that I’ve had to go back for the visual aids to figure out what’s going on.

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