5 Ways to Stay Competitive in Today’s Workforce

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    There will be times in your professional life when you feel that you are stagnating or going backwards. This is especially if things are going less smoothly for you at work and you are not scoring the opportunities you want.

    Doubts might start to creep in your mind. You may ask if there is something that you are doing wrong and why your peers are advancing at a faster pace than you are.

    The fact is that staying in demand in today’s competitive job market is all about relevancy. To advance your career, are you prepared to acquire the skills, knowledge and connections that companies need? And are you prepared to market yourself to stand out from everyone?

    If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then let’s look at five actionable ways your can boost your career today.

    1) Sign Up for a New Course and Keep Learning

    The most important advice would be to keep learning and never stop growing. Sometimes this means picking up deeper skills that are relevant in your industry. Other times, this will mean picking up skills and knowledge complementary to your current profession.

    Part-time Diploma programmes offer busy adults a convenient platform to upgrade their skills and knowledge to stay competitive in their careers. In today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) business climate, continuous learning is an important hedge for career development. For one, it can help you from stagnating in your current job, since developing additional skill sets can increase your chances of getting a promotion.

    2) Leverage LinkedIn as a Career Platform

    FACT: People want to get to know their potential employees before hiring them.

    Most employment agencies and company managers will view one or more of social media profiles before interviewing a candidate. Since you will never get a second chance to make a first impression, make sure that your social media profiles are on point.

    Keeping your LinkedIn profile professional and up to date is important. You never know when a hiring agency will find your profile, especially if you are actively seeking a job.

    Keep the following in mind:

    • A catchy, professional bio should be included in your profile
    • Your profile image should be professional, as you want to look like a credible and confident person that others want to be around
    • Your experience should be up to date
    • Responsibilities you perform must be listed and updated regularly
    • Any new skills you have acquired should be made visible

    3) Stay Abreast of Industry Changes

    All industries are susceptible to change, which is affected by technology, political climate or the economy. As professionals, we need to constantly stay abreast of industry changes and how they can affect our business.

    To keep in the know, cultivate a habit of following the blogs, podcasts, and influencers relevant to your industry. Take an interest in what is happening in your professional circles by following various forums and partaking in discussions. The more informed you are, the better prepared you will be for what lies ahead for your sector.

    4) Actively Manage Your Career Progression

    With the speed of change in today’s business world, it can be hard to predict what will happen to your industry and profession in the future. This is why it’s important to actively manage your career progression.

    This means having a clear idea of what you are good at, where your passions lie and what are the jobs that you can best add value in. Set goals for yourself and actively work towards them. For example, if your plan is to rise through the ranks in a multinational corporation, you can also volunteer for regional projects to strengthen your track record.

    Another way is to keep a lookout for the right career opportunities. While you may be comfortable in your current position, it’s always good to stay open to better opportunities that can further accelerate your career progression.

    With that in mind, make sure that your application documents and resumé are up to date. A good habit to maintain is to check and edit these documents frequently, about once every quarter. Add new responsibilities, new qualifications, and new personal info each time you do.

    5) Build Up Your Professional Network

    There’s a common saying that it’s not what you know, but who you know. This means actively building your professional network to stand out in today’s hyperconnected world. There are many ways to do this:

    • Join a relevant industry group or trade association
    • Attend networking events
    • Connect with your peers in industry Facebook and LinkedIn groups
    • Publish your professional thoughts and opinions on platforms such as LinkedIn, Medium and Quora

    This will help to beef up your professional network and presence, making it more likely that your profile comes to mind when there are referral opportunities.

     
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