Over the last several years, many job seekers have had to revamp their skills or reinvent their careers in order to land a good job. Some job seekers have even changed fields in order to find gainful employment. For the most part, this could be attributed to the recent recession, but in truth it’s also the sign of the times. The most important lesson we learned over the past decade is there is NO job security. And although it’s somewhat of a candidate market today, the only way to maintain and grow in your career is to always remain relevant. In order to help the current job seekers and the passive ones as well, we wanted to share with you some key ways to keep your career from becoming stagnant.
Industry: How well do you know the latest trends in your industry? Who are the movers and the shakers in your industry? Are you seeing red flags that could stunt your career growth? Is your job being replaced with technology? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you need to start researching. Keeping up to speed on where your industry (and company as well) is headed. Doing this and more is an integral part of managing your career and staying relevant. Remember, the research will help you know where you currently stand and also will help you understand the opportunity for growth.
Technology: Do you currently use the latest technology for your industry? Do you know where the tech trends are heading? Is there new software that you’re required to know or constant updates in technology software that requires constant education? Industry software, cloud servers, mobile apps, online networks or updated desktop applications can touch several industries and can be updated/improved on a regular basis. If you’re a new job seeker searching for a position or a more seasoned one and are overwhelmed with the technological advances, you need to start your education fast. Enroll in a continuing education program or technology classes if needed. Keeping up with all the advances will will help you stay relevant and keep you confident in your career.
Network: One of the best ways to stay relevant to your career is to continue to grow your professional network. Doing so can really impact your career opportunities. One of the worst things a professional can do is to ignore the contacts they made from their previous positions. Staying connected with existing contacts and meeting new ones can easily be managed with online networks like LinkedIn or professional industry organizations. If you struggle with maintaining a good network, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and get cracking on those relationships that help further your career.
Professional Achievements: One way to improve your marketability and stand out is to keep track of all your professional achievements. Can you readily discuss your major accomplishments with each position you’ve held? Today’s work environment isn’t a place to just show up. Today, employees need to show their worth by achieving department or company goals. They need to build a reputation within their company as a strong and relevant employee. And they need to have people vouch for them as well. Start marking those achievements and learn the art of creating a group of excellent references.
The only job security existing today is for an individual to keep themselves marketable. This means taking control of your career path by using many of the tools we mentioned and more. Don’t ever let a false sense of security stop you from staying relevant.
What are some other things you’re doing in your career in order to stay relevant? Do you believe job security has returned with the improving economy?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Ingrid Moore
Ingrid Moore is the Founder and CEO of Corporate Resources of Illinois, an employment & staffing agency withover 20+years’ experience located in Schaumburg, IL. Ingrid and her team assist employers with finding the right hire for their business. For more info, follow us on our LinkedIn Company Page, or follow us Corporate Resources of Illinois‘s Google+ page.