Want to know the secret to staying competitive in business? Hint: it’s something you already know how to do.

Every business owner, manager, or seasoned worker has felt insecure at some point in their career. There’s usually a moment when you read about some new technology that you know nothing about, or you see your competitor offering something you’ve been meaning to research but haven’t found the time. In any field, it’s easy to feel like you have fallen behind. In construction, it’s especially hard because your day-to-day work is so demanding that trying to squeeze in time for innovation can be a challenge.

Did you know that October is National Learning and Development month? This “holiday” was created to encourage Americans to set aside some time to invest in growing their skills. Whether you go all in and take a continuing education course at your local trade school or simply check out a book from the library, the time you take to advance your skills will pay off exponentially.

Don’t know where to start? Start small and spend 15 minutes reviewing the OSHA website to refresh yourself on their recommendations and guidelines. While you’re there, sign up to receive their free QuickTakes emails.

After that, head over to the TED talk website and watch one of the 20 most popular talks of all time. We recommend “The Happy Secret to Better Work” by Shawn Achor. He discusses how working harder can actually lead to a greater amount of happiness and satisfaction with our lives. Many people have been inspired by his words.

Speaking of masterful speakers, Tim Farriss, author of famous books like The 4-Hour Workweek has written a new book called Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. This book shares the insider tips from some of the most successful people out there, from celebrity entertainers to master engineers. Try stealing some of their habits and you never know… it could be the one thing that stands between you and your next big opportunity.

Whatever you decide to do to celebrate National Learning and Development month, we can guarantee one thing: the time will not be spent in vain. Investing time into yourself and your career, no matter how much or how little, always pays off.

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