Welcome back to another Ask Me Anything, a weekly series where we talk to our friends, our viewers, and our community about all of their pressing needs, questions, wants, and desires.
Let’s take a look at the mailbag to see which questions are burning this week.
What are the best ways to keep up with industry changes?
How My Boss’s Boss Used to Do It
When I was 22 years old, I sat in a cubicle right next to the men’s room.
This is not part of the answer to the question, but it’s a funny story: because I sat next to the men’s room and the president and the CEO were men, I would see them every day.
They would both walk by at some point in the morning with their newspaper or magazines under their arm and go into the bathroom.
They’d each be in there for a very long time and eventually, they would come back out (not together—separately) and stop by my cubicle for a conversation.
At 22 years old, all I could think was, “You just went in there and pooped and now you’re having a conversation with me.”
Every, single day.
But hey! It gave me great visibility to the president and CEO and it helped me expand my career and climb the corporate ladder pretty fast.
Right across from my cubicle that was next to the men’s room was my boss’s boss’s office. She would walk in, say good morning, and then she’d sit at her desk with her feet up and she would read industry magazines.
I remember thinking at the time, “How does she do this? How does she have time? It’s not really fair that she spends the first hour of her day doing this while we’re working.”
Ah, the naivety of youth!
She was so in tune with what was going on in the industry and to that of our clients’ industries that she always knew what was going on. And, because she kept herself updated with it all, she was able to think about things differently, be more creative, and be more strategic.
It wasn’t until later in my career that I realized she had to make time to keep up on industry changes or she wasn’t doing her job.
Keep Yourself Up on Industry Changes
Unless you aimlessly scroll through Instagram without clicking on stories or you don’t have your preferences set up so that stories are recommended to you based on your interests, I imagine there are lots of different ways you’re keeping up with industry changes.
Subscribe to newsletters, such as SmartBrief, PRSA, and PR Daily. Spend time in the Spin Sucks Community, where we talk about trends and the latest and greatest (hello, Meta). Go through your open tabs and combine them into one feed of articles. Set up Pocket and throw things in there.
But don’t allow it all to be out of sight, out of mind. You have to actually go into your Pocket account if you want to read about the industry changes
If you’re not a reader, subscribe to industry podcasts and YouTube channels.
I’m doing some self-education on different types of cooking techniques and am watching a lot of YouTube with my small one. While those aren’t about industry changes, it’s one way to think about how to keep yourself updated on things that are moving and shaking.
There are lots of different ways you can approach your education. The most important thing, though, is to do it in a way that works for you so you keep at it.
My boss’s boss liked to spend the first hour of her workday doing that. I prefer to do mine at the end of each day. Maybe you take a walk at lunchtime and listen to a podcast. Or you jump on the Peloton and have YouTube running on your tablet next to you.
There are lots of ways to get your education without a lot of effort. It does take a few minutes to set things up, but eventually, the robots learn your preferences and start to serve content to you—in all the places.
But if you really, really want to keep up on industry changes, subscribe to Spin Sucks (the blog and the podcast). I troll the news every week to find perfect topics for you and work really hard to keep you updated on all the things.
Have a Question?
If there is a topic you’d like us to cover, industry trends you’ve heard about but don’t understand, or a question you are embarrassed to ask but know we will be happy to answer let us know!
You can also stop by my house with a bottle of wine for porch drinking.