In today’s marketplace, it is no longer enough to be good. You must stand out from the crowd in some way that is different or exceptional. Just think about the information overloaded society – how do you get anything through the millions and millions of messages each person receives in a day? It can be a tall order to just be noticed. I’ve noticed that those who have a passion for continual education find a way to stand out in the crowd.
For example, one of my Board members in my APICS chapter (the #1 trade association for supply chain and operations professionals) never stops learning. It is truly amazing to watch her appetite for new information. And she shines above the “noise”. What are some of the keys to continuous education?
- Read: Especially in the information age, it is even more critical to read voraciously. A variety is good – read the newspaper, books from the bestseller list, books about your specialty, websites providing value, etc.
- Write: Writing skills can help you achieve an edge over your competition, so continually reinforce them – write an article, write an opinion piece for the newspaper, or just write in a journal. It is surprising how much you can stand out in a crowd with effective writing skills.
- Find a mentor: This is one of the quickest and most effective ways to learn what “works” and build your skill sets – and it can be quite enjoyable as well.
- Teach: Teaching is often the best way to learn – and you are providing value at the same time.
- Experiences: Expand your experiences. Book a trip to a different country, learn a new
language, sign up for a course outside of your typical area of expertise, try a new role at work, etc.