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Staying current in your career can end up feeling like a second full-time job. But it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

[Photo:] Wouldn't it be nice if there was an app like this if you were looking for work?

You need a lot of information, fast, from sources you can trust, in order to stay up on developments in your field, learn new techniques, add skills that will help you land a new job, and figure out how to package it all in a way that will catch an employer’s eye (or make it past the scanning software).

Can you just find this stuff online? Well, sure—some of it. But the internet is a huge dumpsite for unfiltered information of all kinds, from sources ranging from legitimate to questionable. You have to pick your way carefully through everything that’s out there, and that takes a lot of time. Besides, your career is too important to rely on information that may or may not be valid and current.

A better approach is to check out the Safari Books Online database at your public, business, or university library. Safari Books Online is a joint venture between O’Reilly Media & Pearson Technology Group. The database was created with a focus on compiling resources for both business and technology professionals.

Since then, the content has expanded to include general business, creative, digital media, and personal and professional development, such as organizing your home office, managing your finances, or learning more about personal electronics or photography.

And it’s more than just a database now. It’s a powerful interactive platform that contains not only books, but also training videos, practice exercises, certification prep materials, and even code snippets. The entire content is included—not just a summary—and is fully searchable by keyword, phrase, author, and more, resulting in the quick return of targeted and relevant results from  more than 85% of the world’s top publishers.

In other words, you only get the good stuff from recognized experts, and you don’t have to spend hours wading through the internet to find it.

Your library may also offer databases from ebrary, ProQuest’s ebook resource, which covers additional topics such as education, arts and leisure, and parenting, broadening the availability of trustworthy sources on the topics that are important to you.

Being on the cutting edge sounds painful, but it doesn’t have to be. Just be sure to pick sources that work for you, instead of making you work to find them.

23 Jul 2013 | Posted by Shannon Janeczek

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