In an increasingly aggressive job market, staying relevant is no longer a choice but a necessity. It’s important to do everything you can to stay competitive. Employers have increasingly higher expectations of their employees and it is important to stay one step ahead.
There are many pieces to this puzzle. Here are a few tips for getting and staying relevant that will help you prove your value to your current or future employer.These strategies are beneficial for current employees, job seekers, college grads, or individuals re-entering the workforce.
Read and Attend Meetings
Read trade journals, articles and anything you can get your hands on related to your career and industry you work in. Try to take 30-60 minutes a week to read the latest industry or career news. Along with staying current via the news, attend classes, industry relevant meetings and conferences.
Stay in the Loop
Set up Google Alerts. One option is to subscribe to key words within your specialty area (“CPG recruiters,” “food science,” “food industry”). In addition to setting up an alert for your own company, you can also set up an alert for your competitors’ companies.
A key piece to staying relevant in the work place is education and ongoing professional development. Many professions require continuing education to maintain licensure and credentials. It is something that a great workplace values and certainly benefits from as employees return to the workplace with new experiences and insights.
The key to successful networking is to be able to tap into sources of expertise, recommendations, and advice from those with different or greater experience than you have. But don’t forget, these relationships are about give and take; it shouldn’t be just about your needs.
Social media, a rapidly evolving structure, is a powerful tool to inform, motivate and influence. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram are a great way to network and express your authenticity. That being said, professional behavior is a must, all the time, on every platform.
Update your Successes
At year end, just after your performance review update your resume and LinkedIn page with successes from the year before. This is a great way to keep your LinkedIn account and resume up to date and relevant without having to think back to what you did 5 years ago.
Investing time each week in your own professional development will increase your satisfaction with your current position and will keep you relevant and growing for future opportunities. Set goals and hold yourself accountable with this process, trust me it will be well worth your time.