We have all been there. The seemingly endless and dreaded job search. Most of us aren’t eager to repeat that process anytime soon. Unfortunately, we are not always in control and in today’s market being downsized is much more common. So how do we make unemployment less likely to happen or at the very least less painful? Think about this? When you searched for a job you did all the research to learn about the company, its competitors, and the industry. Now that you have the job, are you still staying up-to-date on your skills, the industry, and overall marketplace? If not, then why not, because you should be?
When you have a job it can be difficult to dedicate large chunks of your time to learning new things or checking out new tools in your field. But it’s important to make time to devote to staying current. Once you’ve identified the best sources to use, you need to schedule time to get the most from them. Your up-to-date knowledge will enhance your marketability in today’s competitive job market.
To enhance your marketability, you need to continue to learn through professional development activities. Professional and continuing education activities, designed to keep you current in your field, come in all shapes and sizes and allow you to better anticipate changes, innovation, and opportunities that are on the horizon.
New websites and online education programs are coming out every day. There are plenty of resources available to help you learn a computer program, platform, or specific skill. Free and paid sites exist that include www.coursera.org, www.Alison.com, and www.Lynda.com, just purchased by LinkedIn. Information is so accessible now that there is no reason not to be somewhat knowledgeable in most anything you desire. Recruiters and hiring managers will take notice when they see continued education efforts. As noted in 6 Things I like to see on a Resume “Certifications are specific and focused and demonstrate the applicant is interested in expanding his or her knowledge after their initial education. Training demonstrates that an individual is interested in perfecting their skill sets as well as the desire to successfully evolve in a role or an organization.”
Be sure to check out webinars and blogs. A lot of professionals, bloggers, and websites host webinars everyday. No matter what field you’re in, it can always be useful to learn from someone else’s experiences.
At the risk of stating the obvious don’t forget about Google. There is literally nothing you can’t find on Google. YouTube has a “How to” video for anything and everything such as “How to keep your Job”.
Know your Industry “Thought Leaders”
Read the latest books, magazines and industry publications. Pay attention to new book releases in your area of expertise. Get online and follow, comment, and share content with and from your favorite industry leaders. Learn about what is trending and what innovative companies and their leadership teams are doing to stay innovative and successful in today’s marketplace. Be sure to attend conferences and events that host these industry thought leaders.
Check your current job market
Even when you have a job it is good to check out today’s market. Observe what hiring managers currently advertising for and what skill sets are being emphasized as important. Pay attention to the trending critical skill sets and measure yourself. Do you measure up or is there something else you need to be doing to stay competitive? Are you taking advantage of everything your current company has to offer for employee development?
Your industry should have one or more trade organizations that you can join. These are useful and can help to keep you informed through heir newsletters and publications, and networking opportunities with meetings and conferences. Connect with people directly related to your industry as well as industry suppliers, customers, and people working in related fields. Be willing to genuinely help others while you have a job. It’s much easier to build those relationships now than when you are unemployed.
Today’s technology moves quickly and while it means there is more to keep up it also lowers the barrier to entry for information we need to keep ourselves competitive in the workplace. If you can embrace the resources and the ability to learn and continuously develop yourself professionally you may just avoid the unemployment line. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions on staying employed.
About Tricia Lucas
Tricia Lucas, Co-Founder of Lucas Select has over 25 years of demonstrated success in recruiting, marketing communications, social media, technical sales, business development, and project management. Tricia has been involved in 9 start-up technology companies as well as sales and marketing roles at IBM, QMS-Minolta, SAS, and most recently Lucas Select, a sales and marketing recruiting and consulting company to help technology companies recruit more efficiently by focusing on: Recruiting Efficiencies, Employer Branding, and Social Media.