Written by Lori Thiessen

It seems strange to me that there is talk of severe labour shortages and yet I see so many help wanted signs in Vancouver. It’s skilled labour that we’re short of and employers seem to be looking for a very particular employee.

The MVA, or most valuable asset, for every person these days is your skill set and your knowledge base. But this is doubly true for the café commuter. What you are selling is know-how.

For a café commuter keeping up with changes in your particular industry and taking upgrading classes is critical to success.

There are a few ways to keep up with emerging technology, information and trends.

  • Read industry related journals
  • Read newspapers, magazines
  • Attend conferences
  • Attend workshops
  • Take part-time/weekend educational programs at universities or colleges
  • Take online educational programs offered through universities or colleges
  • Join appropriate associations, rotary clubs, etc.

Be sure to keep a complete record of what you are doing to keep up with your industry. It’s great to have handy if a potential client or employer asks you about your educational background.

When planning to meet with a client, gather up some articles that will relate to the client’s needs to show that you are on top of current trends.

With information and change coming at us at such a huge volume and speed, it is dizzying to try to keep it all straight. The key, I believe, is to specialize. Carve out a little niche for yourself and make yourself an expert in that area. Do keep abreast of wider trends so that you can adopt and use emerging technology to make your business more efficient and effective but know your own little groove extremely well.

Q: How do you keep up with your industry’s changes?

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll save your seat until next time.