If you think back to around ten years ago when it came to things we had in the home or in the workplace, it has all been transformed. Smartphones were brand new, apps were not yet a thing, and flexible working and open plan office designs were not commonplace. And when someone mentioned ‘the cloud’ it was assumed they were talking about a storm that was coming. All of these things, along with plenty others, have changed how we work and the kind of jobs that we are doing. Technology is changing at a fast pace too, meaning there could be many changes still to come.
How can we make sure that our skills are still relevant and that we are going to be employable after finishing college in a couple of years or even this time next year? It is going to be hard to completely predict what working will look like then, as we know things can change so quickly. Which is why making yourself marketable, educated, and able to adapt is really important. Then it makes it much easier to move with the times, change jobs when required, and get the jobs that you are applying for.
So with all of that in mind, here are some of the things that you need to be doing to make sure that you can keep up, and still be employable, even if it is a few years down the line. Being prepared for what comes next, or even being one step ahead of what could come next, is a great position to be in and will help your employability no end.
Pay Attention To Specific Industries
It can be hard to know where you want your career path to go, unless you have had a clear decision for a while. But one of the best things to be doing is to look at the best ways to keep up to date with the chosen industry or career path that you have chosen (or a few of the industries that you want to look at). Are there particular resources, websites, or other publications that you can be accessing to get the information that you need? Stay apprised of the industry (or industries) that you have an interest in going into (or that you’re already working in). It will be a huge benefit to do so.
As well as that, it can be a good idea to keep on top of other industries and watching out for innovations and new ways of doing things. Things like that aren’t going to be limited to just one industry, in most cases, so it does help to keep your knowledge up on what is happening in various industries; it can make a difference. For instance, if you want to work in finance, then it could be also worth looking at the marketing and advertising industries, as things that they implement are likely to follow in finance, for instance. Find what is relevant and then you’re going to be ahead of the game when it comes to how employable you are going to be.
Stretch Your Skills
Even when you’re starting out in a career, or ten years down the line, it can be easy to just get a little complacent with your work and skills. Your job can almost become a little autonomous to do, and that doesn’t mean that you are stretching yourself, learning or growing. And when that stops, it does make work much more dull for you, as well as make you less employable, as you’re not developing in other ways. So being able to stretch your skills, to keep learning, and doing more, is always going to be a good thing.
You may have an idea of the training that could help you in your career. But if not, then it could be worth looking somewhere like the Laurier online degree programs to see what else you could be studying and it if could be worth doing a masters. If you’re an undergraduate at the moment, then focusing on one thing at a time is a good idea first. But from there, the word is your oyster and a masters could help you, as well as doing other studies alongside your work. As well as formal education to improve skills, it can be a good idea to put yourself forward for things to help you to ‘stretch.’ This could be taking on a role of responsibility at work, or volunteering to take a specific project on. It gives you more experience, as well as more practical ways of demonstrating what you are capable of, should a job change come your way.
At a basic level, keeping track of all that you do and making a note on your resume of the things you are learning and doing is a great thing to do. You have the memory and evidence of all that you have been able to do. Any classes, courses, and opportunities to develop should all be documented so that you have the proof of what you have done, and can recall it when you need to. When applying for jobs, it is going to help. You could also try your hand at blogging or even podcasting so that you can develop a small online presence, and it will help you to develop yourself as a brand, if that is what you want to do. Not only that, but it is very relevant. By doing something like that it helps you to show that you’re up to date with technology and the way that business and online marketing is going, as examples. Plus, it is something that is giving the chance to do something different to everyone else. So again, when applying for a job, it can help you to stand out, and help you to be more memorable.
Check Up on Your Skills
Just because you are qualified in something, it doesn’t mean that you’re instantly going to be an expert. And if you have something written on your resume that you haven’t used for years, then it pays to check up on your skills. What can you do to test your knowledge on that or recall your learning? Much like we do with ourselves and our health, as well as with cars, and our homes, we check them over from time to time, to check that no major cracks are appearing. As well as keeping up with that you already have in place, it is a good idea to check on your other skills from time to time to see how you can be honing them so that you’re able to do more and more and improve. So allow yourself some time, take stock of what you are doing, or what you should be working on. Then take the time to reevaluate so that you are all learning and growing.
Try Something Out of Your Comfort Zone
Have you ever told yourself that you’ll be unable to do something because ‘you’re not that kind of person?’ For example, have you avoided doing certain things at work as it would mean that you have to use a certain piece of equipment and ‘you’re not a techy person?’ But whatever is holding you back can be easily dealt with when you have a plan to deal with it and have a plan step out of your comfort zone. For instance, if you feel intimidated by technology, then you’re not going to get too far in the modern world we live in, and the modern businesses that we have. But stepping out of your comfort zone can mean that you are able to do so much more at work, as well as mean getting involved with more projects, and just generally improving your skill set. It won’t be technology for everyone, but we will all have something that can hold us back from doing what we want to do.
If your aim is to be ready for the future and ready for longevity in your career, then it will mean doing some things that you’re not too keen to do, or things that you might not feel prepared to do. When you embrace it, embrace change, and make changes, you will be setting yourself up for great things. Remember that as soon as you let fear stop you from doing things, then it will mean that you are putting a pause on your career, as it can mean certain skills are not being used and will almost become redundant. Keep challenging yourself in the right ways, and it will help your career, and help you to make sure that your career can be as good a decade down the line. Sometimes we can become so focused on keeping things neat and tidy and all in a box, that we forget to step out of the box and see that there is much more out there that can help us.
I hope you enjoyed the post! Thanks so much for reading, as always <3