While our parents were familiar with the concept of “job for life”, these days it’s a dangerous game to fall into a false sense of security in your company. With a recovering (but hardly booming) economy, an increasingly educated and diverse workforce just waiting to get their feet on the ladder, and the Internet opening up continents of freelancers who can do your job cheaper than you, you never know what may happen tomorrow. A budget cut, or a change in legislation and you could be shown the door. So, no matter whether you’re a business owner, executive, or entry level intern, it’s important to stay attractive to employers as you go throughout your career.
You may be educated to MBA level or have a PHD in physics, but if you graduated when the Internet was still in its early stages, then your cutting-edge thesis on sustainable marketing won’t be as groundbreaking as it was back then. Of course, the basics will always apply on any degree, but whether you’re a marketer, economist, PA, VA, entrepreneur, or run your own business selling money clips online, you need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and concepts.
If you haven’t yet then make friends with social media, then do. It’s no use having a prestigious business degree if you don’t know how to send a tweet. Take a relevant course in your area. Learn about new concepts in customer retention. Read articles. Don’t let the company you work for blinker you to what’s going on outside.
Learn Something New
Prospective employers always like to hire people who love learning constantly. It show them that you’re hands-on and will apply the same attitude to the job. Have you always wanted to learn a language? With the Hispanic population in the States predicted to rise to 30% by 2050, bilingual employees will definitely have the edge. And what about arts and crafts, or cooking classes? Who knows? Maybe your new hobby will lead to your next business idea.
Spread Your Assets
Even if you don’t apply this concept to your savings (and you should) you’re probably familiar with the concept of diversifying your assets. You should do the same with yourself. This goes back to not giving up every moment of your time to a company that may show you the door from one day to the next. Always keep your contacts and make sure you keep their details in a business card holder. Consider new possibilities. Check out what the requirements are for jobs in similar areas. And what they pay. If you’d like to set up on your own then start slowly. Work a little bit on your new venture every day. Start a blog, set up a website. See what else you can add to your skill set.
Keep Your Resume and Online Profile Current– OK so it can be a bit of a dull exercise, but it’s an extremely useful one. Try to update your resume at least once a year. Add your new skills and hobbies. Talk about your new blog. Update your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have one – get one today. And make sure that everywhere else you appear online is desirable. The first thing a would-be employer will do is google you and they won’t be impressed with callous tweets sent out or a photo of you in a wet T-shirt in Cancun.
If you’re still not convinced and you know the sky’s the limit where you work, it’s still a good exercise in helping you keep your memory sharp, contributing new ideas to your current position and making you a rounder human being; more attractive to employers and everyone else as well.
About the author: Michael Peggs is the founder of SEO agency Marccx Media, where they specialize in white hat link building, SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.