Staying marketable is about making yourself indispensable to your current employer or irresistible to a prospective one. It is a commitment to continually expand your skills and knowledge in order to stay current, competitive and in a strong position to compete for jobs in different market contexts. Use the tips below to improve your employment options through all stages of the economic cycle.
Upgrade Your Skills
Keeping your skills fresh, current and relevant is the best way to stay marketable. Align your skill set with your company’s plans, as well as those of potential employers. Identify any gaps that need addressing to position yourself as a highly valuable employee. Focusing on developing your transferable skills (in leadership, communication, or technology for example) is a smart investment should you need to diversify your career in the future.
Expand Your Learning
Continual learning illustrates your commitment to continual improvement. Strengthening your qualifications is an important way to increase the value you represent to your current or potential employer. You can gain new skills and knowledge through in-house training, distance-learning, online courses, workshops and conferences.
Refresh Your Resume
Refresh your resume with recent achievements and current skills so that you can act on opportunities as they arise. Keep samples of your best work and update your resume with tangible examples of your accomplishments, such as improving business processes or contributing to the bottom line. Keeping a record of your achievements is also a good reminder of the value you add to your current role.
In the constantly evolving job market, keeping an open mind and remaining flexible about your employment preferences will open a world of additional career opportunities. You may need to reconsider your expectations in terms of industry, salary and/or job type (permanent, contract, or temporary) in order to keep your options open and avoid limiting your employability.
Expand Your Network
Your network of contacts is one of the most useful job search and career development tools you have. Make the effort to attend professional association meetings, events and conferences. As well as building your reputation as a well-connected and valued peer, networking helps to keep you top of mind when opportunities arise within or outside your company.
It is critical to anticipate what skills employers will need now and into the future. Keep up to date with relevant trade journals, industry research and job advertisements. Staying abreast of developments and opportunities in your industry gives you a strong indicator of the type of skills currently in demand, as well as those likely to be valuable in the future.