With the job market and industries constantly changing, it is crucial to keep a competitive edge and to stay relevant.
So as to remain valuable to the company and protect yourself from retrenchment.
Here are 5 hot tips you can apply to stay relevant in your workplace:
1. Invest in your professional development
Continuous learning and improvement is the only way to survive in this ever-changing world.
Keeping your skills and knowledge current gives the impression to your employer and future employer that you are initiative, curious and valuable to have.
In other words, making you marketable.
IoTip: Evaluate yourself regularly and be open to new challenges.
An employee with a proactive attitude and not fully dependent on the employer to build his/ her path will never be a loss to the company.
Instead, it is highly demanded by companies.
As companies will always want to adopt new innovations quickly and be the one leading instead of the one following, having a similar work ethic such as that, will help you be a valuable asset to your company and even to others.
Hence, it is essential to constantly upgrade yourself and quickly taking your skills to the next level to remain competitive and even have an edge over others.
Not sure of what skills or work attributes are demanded by employers within your industry or what is an ideal candidate in your field?
Here are some suggestions to know what value to add:
- Download job portals and scan through job postings relevant to your professionality but of one or two positions higher
- Keep yourself in the loop of your industry trends – What is happening in the industry, what skills are needed but not fulfilled, which area lacks talents, etc.
This will allow you to know what you should offer to increase your value of contribution to your current company or even the company you want to change to.
It is really about taking the initiative to attend workshops, online classes or even internships to upskill yourself, and your determination to stay ahead of the curb.
Examples of organisation offering upskilling courses:
2. Learn new technology
To adapt to the rapidly changing business environment, almost every industry is entering or has entered digitalisation.
And Singapore, just like any other country, is trying to build its digital workforce.
Thus, being tech-savvy not only helps you outshine your competitors but also increases your value as an employee.
Reason being, tech-savvy talents are highly in demand by companies but the supply of it is comparatively low, reported by LinkedIn.
For example, recently, companies in the financial industry is being pressurised by the growth of digital banking to source for top talents with tech skills and financial skills.
Singapore Busines Reviews even states that “Job-hopping banking tech talents could command up to 15% raise”.
This shows that companies are now sourcing for passive job seekers due to the lack of talents.
Therefore, familiarizing yourself with technologies and investing in IT skills used in your industry will definitely give you one-upmanship and be wanted by more companies.
It could even be a new career path to go to too!
Vital tech skills to prepare for 2020 [Techopedia]:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Cloud/Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Data Science
- Data Analytics
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Machine Learning (ML)
- Data Visualization
However, for your IT skills to prosper and for you to succeed in a modern workplace, it is necessary to have soft skills. And this actually applies to all industry.
According to a report by IBM, it states that “ Companies NEED people that can both understand IT/tech and utilize soft skills to sell/improve/work with tech.”
“I believe soft skills are necessary in IT because of team dynamics-both internally and within clients.”IBM Case Study
3. Build your network
Only through networking and establishment of relationships will you get your value recognised and name out there.
Networking enables you to gain a broader perspective of the trend of your field, learn new work styles and problem-solving approaches.
Building and sustaining relationship will definitely help you down the road and bring richness to not only your work life but personal life too.
The kind of relationships you should form with are people related to your industry, thought leaders in your field, people working in your dream companies, and so on.
Adding on to that, career-building is another benefit of investing in relationships with mutual benefits.
And it is known by many that networking is essential for the success of your career.
4. Improve your visibility in the industry
One of the ways is to attend industry conferences and talk to the organisers or past speakers to find opportunities to be part of a panel discussion or speaking docket.
This will help you gain exposure and even establish you as a leader, says Thomas Powner, a career and branding coach.
You can also start with raising your visibility internally (your organisation) by requesting to take on high-profile projects.
Through that, it will prove your value and proactiveness in career growth and bringing success to the company.
Your request for skill-developing and high-visibility projects will definitely make you stand out.
Flying under the radar will not bring you anywhere nor safeguard your job anymore in this advanced and competitive society.
Tips to broaden your visibility at work [The Balance Careers]:
- Ask for more responsibility tasks to show that your skills are underutilised and that you can further contribute to the company’s success
- Volunteer to represent your department at meetings, on planning committees, and on projects. It will be helpful when promotions or lateral opportunities become available.
- Establish a friendly and supportive relationship with your boss
- Look for opportunities that can make full use of your skills. This will show your value as an employee to the organisation. Don’t hide them, use them. Otherwise, skills may be lost.
- Request the opportunity to participate in seminars and training classes. Your willingness to learn and improve will make you more noticeable.
5. Plan ahead
“Unpredictability in life is what makes it exciting and makes the best of you.”
Where will the fun be if you had a timetable of every part of your life right? It just be a dull and mundane life.
However, as “unpredictability is constant”, we have to embrace the unexpected and always have a plan at the back of our head.
Even though you are currently in a stable job or a job which your love, anything can happen in this constantly evolving economic environment.
Hence, it is best to have a contingency plan if things were to go south. For example, if your company enters a recession or is hit by retrenchment.
Embrace change by looking at it as a new adventure that provides you with new experiences and opportunities to grow and evolve as a person, both personally and professionally.
It is time to take charge of your future.
“The pen that writes your life story
must be held in your own hand.”
Irene C. Kassorla