• Audra Emerson

Offseason Training #2: Build Industry Knowledge

Welcome back to another Offseason Training Session. Last week I asked you to think back to your playing days and those athletes who spent their offseason time training hard and came back stronger when the season started. I challenged you to think of this market downturn as your offseason and use it to train; to develop professionally so that you can come back from this time stronger and ready to succeed!

As your coach, I will provide ongoing offseason training information, goals and challenges. I will give you time to practice and master a training, then give you new trainings to try. So stay tuned, this is the second of many Offseason Training sessions coming your way.

Offseason Training #2: Build Industry Knowledge

Challenge – Spend at least 10 minutes every day studying your field

When you were playing sports competitively you knew who had the #1 defense, who was the strongest three point shooter, which team had the most aggressive offense... you get the idea. You were a student of the game and knowledge was power. Knowledge of other teams, coaches, players, techniques and strategies made you a stronger more successful player. Having in-depth knowledge about your company, industry, executives, and competitors will make you a stronger more successful professional. It will give you the expertise to lend insight in an upcoming meeting, to develop a creative solution to a problem your team is facing, and help you stand out as a highly talented and valued employee.

So sign up for business journals, industry magazines, blogs, professional association newsletters and TedTalks. (If you accepted last week’s challenge you are already getting information on your LinkedIn Newsfeed.) Spend at least ten minutes a day reading and learning everything you can about your industry and profession including:

• Who are the largest companies/agencies in this profession? How do these companies distinguish themselves in the marketplace (different product strengths, different approach to customer service, different corporate cultures).

• Have leaders of these large companies left to lead start-ups? These are often up and coming companies in the industry so learn everything you can about them.

• What companies are doing exciting or innovative things in the industry?

• How is this career field or industry or company evolving to respond to the current environment?

• How might your field, industry, or company be impacted if social distancing measures continue through summer and fall?

• Which companies that struggling or exiting the industry? Analyze and understand their challenges in order to help your organization avoid these problems.

• What, if any, technical advances are currently influencing the industry/profession? Learn as much as you can about the next big thing in your industry?

• Does your profession exist in other industries? Understand where and what those industries are doing.

PRO TIP: Set up Google Alerts using keywords or companies. Google will mine web pages, newspaper articles, blogs, scientific research and more; then email you with information on your topics of interest.

Good Luck! Tune in next week for your 3rd Career Development Offseason Training Challenge.

Audra Emerson is a passionate speaker, trainer and career coach with over 20 years of experience in recruiting and human resources. Audra serves as Vice President of Her Next Play, a non-profit committed to developing the next generation of women leaders through sport.

Her Next Play

Developing the next generation of women leaders through sports.


Phone: 612-564-9140


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