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Worried About Losing Your Job? How IT Pros Can Keep Up With Quickly Changing Technology

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Technology no longer changes by the year or month. Drastic shifts in trends, new innovations, and unbelievable devices are introduced almost daily.

If you're trying to keep up with the demands of your job, it might be hard to keep track of innovations that could help your career.

Here's how to keep up with the radically morphing world of new technologies.

 

Read as Many Trade Journals as Possible

Image via Flickr by aaronparencki

Think you don't have time for a magazine? It's easy to squeeze a quick browse into your lunch or after dinner routine, and the rewards can pay off big time. The next time your boss needs a solution to a problem, you'll be aware of the newest software and devices that can make his dreams come true. Subscribe to two or three tech magazines and keep them in handy reach for whenever you might have a free minute.

Great ways to work in magazine reading time are while you're waiting for the doctor, when sitting at the auto repair shop, and even during commercial breaks while you're watching TV. Keep the latest editions of your magazine picks in the car, by your favorite chair, or on your desk. Some people find it's a great way to unwind before bed, so stow one on your nightstand, too.

Attend Trade Shows as Often as Possible

Image via Flickr by MDGovpics

There are trade shows somewhere all the time. In many cases, the company might pay for you to attend if you can demonstrate a real need. If not, keep your eyes open for a local trade show you can hit up on the weekend.

The freebies you get can almost compensate for the nominal entry fee, and the knowledge you gain is almost certain to pay off when you impress your boss with new ideas and information. Trade shows are a great place to get hands on with the latest technology, and it's far easier to learn about it when you can see and touch it for yourself.

Finding trade shows is easy. About once per month, do a keyword search for "tech trade show [your city]". Trade journals also publish information on trade shows, so your magazine subscriptions are a good investment. While you're at one, make a point to meet other people who know about shows you can attend. Sign guest lists at as many vendors as possible, and they'll notify you about other trade shows they're scheduled to attend.

Read Forums and Join in the Discussions

Image via Flickr by Bruce Clay, Inc

Forum groups are a valuable tool for the IT professional. Here, you can hear about the latest trends from professionals all around the world, not just the ones confined to your tiny corner of the world. Yes, the forums are full of opinionated people, but reading the vastly differing opinions is part of the learning process.

Join several types of forums for the greatest benefits. Look for forums on new devices, how-to forums, forums on software development, and general tech forums. Schedule a time once per day or once each week to read what's been posted. Comment on the posts with your own opinions. Never be afraid to sound less knowledgeable than someone else, you're all there to share and glean information from one another. 

Instead of being overwhelmed by the massive changes in technology, learn to embrace them. After all, it's what keeps this field of work so interesting.

References:

http://redmondmag.com/articles/2011/08/01/do-this-not-that.aspx

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John Leger has been married for 25+ years and has six children.  He is a self-taught web developer who spends a lot of time learning new technologies and sharpening his skills.  His ability to learn new things quickly has enabled him to skillfully play the guitar, keyboard, flute and bass.  In his off time, he loves to hunt and ski.  He’s also the lead instructor at a Taekwondo Academy in his home town where he teaches classic Chung Do Kwon.
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