Most of the time, working in isolation just doesn’t work.
Whether you are running your own solo business, stuck in a corner of a busy office or working remotely from home, feeling isolated at work can be a very real issue for some. Workplace isolation can be greatly exacerbated by feeling isolated in your personal life. If you work remotely and do not have frequent touch points with your colleagues or your manager, you will certainly begin to feel a gulf grow. You have to to grow more comfortable and confident around your co-workers, which would have an undeniably positive impact on your job.
So what does being “a student of the industry” look like? To start, this is something that should be focused on throughout your career, not just during your early years. Doing so leverages you to continually bring additional value to your role and to offer perceptive insights into various industry-specific situations.
A key task involved in this process is learning the products you work with and how they are produced. Another essential focus is learning, and staying current on, the standards for your industry. No matter what industry you work in, standards do exit.
Throughout your career, you will encounter other true students of your industry. Make sure to identify and then properly utilize these sources of information. Most people are more than happy to lend guidance. Additionally, remember this in the event someone comes to you after identifying you as a source of industry information. Treat them as you would want to be treated in their place.