We have all experienced that dreaded job search and most of you aren’t eager to repeat the process. Unfortunately, we aren’t always in control and being downsized in today’s market is almost a certainty. The hiring landscape has changed dramatically and in this do-or-die landscape where only the most relevant employees survive, there is no room for second best. Only the relevant are getting hired and staying employed.
So how do you avoid the unemployment line? First and foremost is to find out if you are “Relevant” or “Obsolete” by answering these questions.
If you are an obsolete or outdated employee you need to focus on changing your old way of doing things and adapt to the current approaches to making “you” better at your job. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and get ready to make some changes. The first step is to enhance your marketability and engage in professional development activities. Professional and continuing education activities, designed to keep you current in your field, are abundant and allow you to better anticipate changes, innovation, and opportunities that are on the horizon. Follow these tips below:
Training and Certifications
Today’s technology moves quickly and the amount of content is overwhelming but available. The barrier to entry for informational content is lower than ever so embrace it to stay competitive in the workplace. New authors, websites, social media platforms, webinars, blogs, training videos, and online education programs emerge daily. The opportunity to learn something new is widely available and you better be making the most of it.
Free and paid educational websites include LinkedIn’s Lynda.com where you’ll find Creating Your IT Strategy, Project Management Fundamentals, Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals, Introduction to Data Science, and Data Mining. Alison offers free certified learning with classes that include Project Management, and Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management Systems. Log onto www.coursera.org and sign up for Getting Started with Python, R Programming, or Business and Financial Modeling. Don’t forget about Google. There is literally nothing you can’t find on Google. YouTube has a “How to” video for anything and everything including How to Job Hunt After Getting Fired.
Taking advantage of these training and certification opportunities not only keeps you educated in your current position but also speaks highly to recruiters and hiring managers. These activities demonstrate your interest and initiative in perfecting your skills and your desire to evolve in your organization. Be Relevant not Obsolete!
Have an Online Presence
Don’t wait until you are unemployed to beef up your online image. Do you still fit your job? You must currently align with your company’s mission and requirements or you won’t last. Identify what makes you unique to your current or next employer. If you are a designer, graphic artist, or content developer it’s important to have a portfolio online in addition to your social profiles. Other professions require a little more creativity to compose your story and support with your work experiences.
Non-profits, churches, community shelters, and charities always need volunteers. Marketers can help with web content, grant applications, fundraising, event brochures, and social media. Financial experts can develop growth strategies and provide cash flow advice. Technical folks can assist with website HTML, database setup, software implementations etc. The rewards aren’t monetary but they are strong resume builders. These environments provide perfect training grounds to learn and develop your skill set.
Know your Industry Thought Leaders
Technology is in a constant state of change. As it evolves, it becomes increasingly important to be aware of industry news and trends. Following top influencers is essential if you want to keep relevant on the latest strategies, methodologies, and best practices. Marketing and sales professionals better know Jay Baer, Chris Brogan, Kipp Bodnar, Joe Pulizzi, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ekaterina Walter, Christopher Penn, Jeffrey Ma, Tony Hsieh, Ann Handley, Chris Anderson, Jeff Weiner, and Scott Stratten? If you don’t recognize most of these names then you better hit the web. These influencers are CEOs, authors, speakers, bloggers, etc. Find a way to engage with these or other professional, innovative, and successful leaders in your industry. Don’t let yourself become irrelevant.
Analyze the Job Market
Even when you have a job it is good to check out today’s market. Observe what hiring managers, sales managers, and recruiting services are currently advertising and what skill sets are being emphasized. Pay attention to trending critical skill sets (hint Data! Data! Data!) and be sure to measure yourself. Is there something you need to be doing to stay competitive? Are you taking advantage of everything your current company has to offer for development? If you can’t get it inside go outside.
Join trade organizations and connect with people directly related to your industry as well as industry vendors, clients, and people working in related fields. Meetups and special interest groups offer access to current thought leaders, entrepreneurs, speakers, management, marketers, thinkers, strategists, and authors. Be willing to farm your network and genuinely help others while you have a job. Don’t wait until you are unemployed to start relating.
Be Relevant not Obsolete!
At Lucas Select, based in Raleigh, NC, we are passionate about technology startups and about sales and marketing as professions and have built extensive national networks of top-performing executives and managers. Unlike typical staffing agencies and headhunters, our recruiting services ensure that your company maintains a sustained growth model that is supported by strong sales management, talent recruitment at scale balanced by on-going people development while aligning with your Company’s core values.