We’ve been told for decades that technology is set to make our lives immeasurably easier. In many ways, we can absolutely feel that change taking place around us. Our social lives are now expanded to take place online, and we use instant messenger to meet people more often. We use technology in the home to access entertainment and to get our domestic chores done differently. But what about the technology that’s out there which can help you develop in your career? This guide’s about the excellent, cutting-edge technology that you may have never come across that will help you make great strides in your career.
One of the words that has crept more and more into the public lexicon in recent years is “procrastination”. We’re all aware of how that feels: it often takes place when we’re online, and as such, it’s actually technology that can feel like it’s obstructing our productivity and stealing our attention away from our work. Several smart apps have been designed in order to counter this very clear and obvious issue with the technology we use every day, and they bear some explanation. Here are some you should consider for your work device:
- Blockers. You can set a blocker to block access to certain websites – people often choose Facebook and YouTube – while you are scheduled to work. Once you’ve worked your allotted time, those websites will unblock, and you can browse them to your heart’s content.
- Co-work apps. These apps are for those who work far better when they are working alongside others. In the current work-from-home world, these apps are perfect. You’ll work alongside a random individual via a video link, describing your tasks to them before your session commences and letting them know how it all went when the session ends. It’s great for productivity.
- Timing apps. If you’re concerned that you’re wasting time online, you can keep track of that via screen time measures and work time measures, both of which can plug into your browser to show you how much time you’re spending on certain websites. Just knowing that you’re checking your email ten times an hour can give you cause to change your habits.
Make use of the wide variety of productivity apps out there in order to get your work finished faster, which will impress your employer and leave you with far more time to devote to having fun or relaxing at home.
If you feel that your career is in a little bit of a rut, there can be no better tonic than learning. Learning a new skill or training in order to pick up more knowledge in a given field can really help you make the next big step in your career – especially if your employers can see a big difference in your output and in the consistency and quality of your work as a result. As such, here are some ideas for online courses that might suit you and your career:
- University courses. These are offered online by a wide range of institutions and can lead you into rewarding new career paths or can give you another feather in your cap when you apply for your next job.
- Online courses. There are also several educational material providers that operate independently and can give you access to experts in a variety of fields. They’re often interactive, using the best educational technology to help you learn.
- YouTube courses. Not to be underestimated, there are several different series online that can help you learn the key skills and know-how in most jobs. These can help you refine your knowledge or learn something completely new about a field you may need one day like to enter.
Degrees offered online can also give you a full-scale qualification in a degree that can absolutely dictate your career. Think here of the marvelous ABSN program offered online, which can get you qualified as a nurse in the space of just a year. It might be intense, but for those looking to quickly assume a new role in a new field, this might just be the most impressive type of course out there. And it’s enabled, of course, by fantastic technology.
It should come as no surprise to you that there is a software answer for everything. There are software programs that automate the majority of back-office administrative tasks, and there are software programs that monitor the temperature of widgets on the factory floor. There are those that are designed for high-level data analysis and presentation and those that are used instead to help you design marvelous marketing materials. The question, for you, is which software you choose to engage with – and why.
Now, if you work in a large company, it’s likely that they’ll base their work on a certain platform. It’s likely that they’ll use Microsoft Office, for instance, as well as some cloud-based software. But this still leaves you with a significant amount of space to use your own software to boost your own productivity. Different software solutions tend to suit different types of people, so there’s no hard and fast rule here. Do your research in order to find the technologies that you believe could be most helpful for you and your ambitions.
Of course, some of your productivity actually derives from the devices that you use to complete your work. You’ll know from experience that a slow laptop with a poor internet speed can mean that you’re completing your work in double the amount of time. On the flip side, a brand new laptop can see you whizzing seamlessly between tasks without even coming up for air. So inviting in technology is an absolute must for hard workers who are looking to advance their careers by producing ever-better work. Here’s what you should especially consider:
- A brand new, fast laptop. This is about processing speed, which is the factor that’ll determine how well programs and software load. Battery life can also be important if you’re often working on the move.
- Fast internet speeds. You can get this in a number of ways. Connecting to your router via an ethernet cable can often deliver more internet than wireless. You can also use a dongle or a high-powered 5G card hotspot in your phone to deliver fast internet directly to your work devices.
- Tablets. These aren’t necessarily required for all workspaces, but they can certainly help you keep track of different information on different screens without having to switch tabs and windows constantly.
- Second screen. Like a tablet, a second screen is there to help you spread out the documents and windows that you’re working on – helping you to see more and understand more as you work.
- Smartphone. It should be obvious that the better your smartphone, the more you’ll be able to do with it. If you work on the move and still need to take calls, including video calls, a high-quality work smartphone is an absolute must.
- Ergonomics. Finally, there are several ergonomic devices out there that can help you work comfortably and successfully. Think here of the keywords and mouse pads that help relax your arms, or of the desk chairs designed to support your back. These can ultimately help you to work at a faster pace in better comfort.
That’s quite the list, and it might be that you cannot purchase every item on that list in the coming weeks. Focus on what’s most important to upgrade in order to slowly build up an arsenal of work devices that you can turn to in order to produce far better work.
We did introduce the idea of software solutions as a key to advancing your career, but we didn’t spend so much time looking at automation itself. That’s because it’s fast developing into its own field and one that many workplaces simply aren’t keeping pace with. You’ll see, from some of the online reporting on automated work software, that there’s plenty happening in this space. You can leverage it to your advantage by purchasing a subscription that could end up saving you dozens of hours per year in work rate.
There are two ways in which this automation technology can help you. The first is in helping you get tasks done so rapidly that you’re free to perform other work – such as freelance projects or applying for other jobs – while you’re still getting paid at work. The other is that you can complete your day’s work in half the time it takes your colleagues to do so, which will obviously set you apart and give managers and seniors pause to consider promoting you.
Once a field that was the preserve of techies who loved the underlying infrastructure behind the internet, software development is now a booming field that most larger companies are investing in. Why? Because of the websites that the support to the apps that they offer, their worlds are increasingly digitizing – and they desperately need the staff members to help them to transform their offerings to see the demands of the modern world. To get ahead in your career, you should learn to code and to understand the world of software and web development.
This can take time. For those who are completely new to the field, software development can feel alien and difficult to grasp. For those with little knowledge about technology and how it works, the actual rules of coding can also come as a surprise. Nevertheless, by learning to code – often through smart apps and programs that walk you through the steps you need to take to develop an understanding of the field – you’ll become a far more valuable employee. That, of course, will help you in the future of your career.
How can we have found ourselves this far down a technology article without mentioning social media? As you will well know, it’s one of the most important mediums in the world. It shares news and views at a rapid rate across the globe, and it’s the single most important tool for self-promotion out there on the internet. Making a blog or a portfolio online without engaging with social media will be an exercise in futility. You need to use social media and the audiences it can generate in order to draw attention to you, your work, and your potential.
On this front, there are a number of platforms that you should consider, all of which often have slightly different audiences and slightly different features. You should look into:
- TikTok if you’d like to show off to a younger crowd, often in the spaces of comedy, fashion, and pop culture
- Facebook, if you’re looking to target older demographics with written, video, or photographic promotional materials
- Twitter if you’d like to share your expert and considered views with the world – which could generate interview and job opportunities
- Instagram primarily of you’re working in the visual arts or in particularly visual fields and looking to generate interest with Millennials
- LinkedIn if you’d like to connect directly with people who are presenting themselves in their professional guise. This is the single most important platform, of course, for those looking to network with other professionals to advance their careers.
Even simply having a small presence on social media that shares your best work and your best ideas can go a long way to convincing people to take from you, engage with you, to interview you, or to hire you.
Engaging With Technology
People live in a world in which it’s difficult to ignore the dominance of technology and the prominence of certain large platforms. You can either choose to engage with these platforms for your own benefit or disengage with them and risk being left behind.
This article’s all about choosing the former option: using technology to advance your career. With so much tech out there for you to choose from, this article merely introduces you to the key devices, software, and platforms that you can use to propel your career into a new phase and enhance your productivity for years to come.