What have you done for me lately?

We all need a little TLC now and then – some would say we thrive on it – and your career is no different. Maybe it’s become a little neglected as you’ve prioritized your job, your job search or even your personal life.

When you’ve been in one role or one company for a while it’s easy to fall behind on what’s happening in your industry. We lose sight of the bigger trends while we chase the day-to-day details of simply getting things done – and some days that means just getting the priorities to march along to the deadlines.

One of the best ways to stay ahead is to read – and I’ll go out on a limb here by saying ‘Read books’. Yes, the online world is incredibly rich in information and available instantly. That’s why it’s the default source.

My suggestion is that you be different. Enhance your online frame of reference with some deeper reading materials. By all means read with technology – your e-reader, iPhone and iPad can be invaluable for two reasons. First they’re fun and portable ways to get books into your life. Second, they’ll help you find the time to do it. (Just divert the time you’re already spending on them into a little sustained non-fiction reading). Want books free? Use the library system to download them. Want to keep them? Purchase online. The point is to get started.

What should you read? Anything related to your work and written by an expert that grabs your attention and builds your knowledge base. Try books on leadership, global trends, technology, management, finance, marketing, teamwork, time management, communication, corporate responsibility, fundraising…the list goes on. Here’s one site that will show you just how much selection there is http://800ceoread.com/attribute/show/1-The_Business_Book_Bestseller_List

Also on the plus side, in your next interview when they ask you “What top 5 books have influenced your thinking and how?” you’ll know the answer.

(I’ll share some of my favourite reads in upcoming blogs – feel free to send your reccos along too.)