Things change so fast these days. I watched with a lump in my throat as the print magazine business began to totally unravel in a few short years, and it was part of the reason I decided to leave and work on my own. It’s been a decision I’m thankful for every day.

Sometimes a field may be doing just fine, but the skills you need to flourish in that field start to shift.

As an amazing female executive said to me lately,

“Realize that the field you are in will change multiple times over your career and you need to be prepared for that.”

No matter how busy you are in your day to day job, it’s incredibly important to keep a vigilant eye on what is happening in your field and your area of expertise. Make certain your brand is still valid and you have to what it takes to thrive.  Terri Wein, co-founder and partner at Weil & Wein, a national career advisory and executive coaching firm, advises the following:

  • Keep current on skills needed to move ahead in your field.  
  • Even if you are not in a job search, check out job postings for similar positions to your job. Better yet, look at postings for your boss’s job. What skills are required of potential candidates?
  • Read industry blogs.
  • Check out career and job search sites specific to your industry. 
  • Pay attention to merger activity to understand industry trends, consolidations and innovations. Don’t get left behind.

This is also a perfect subject to discuss with your mentors in the field. Ask their opinion on industry trends and also on the specific career track you’re on.

And as you move along in your career, be sure you’re developing reverse mentors, too, younger men and women who will share thoughts on trends and technology important to them. It’s even key to pay attention to changing fashion trends in your field and company. You don’t want to be the last woman standing in a navy blazer.

Change is scary, I know, but it can also be exhilarating if you prepare in the right way.