MAINTAINING YOUR PROFESSIONAL EDGE
If you have been in the same job for only a few years or for many, knowing what the requirements are in today’s market in your profession will help you stay up-to-date when, or if, a job change is necessary.
Although some aspects of your career future are out of your control, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of a long and successful work life.
Keeping pace with new developments in your field and continually improving both your hard skills (job-specific) and soft skills (interpersonal) will maintain an “at-the-ready” preparedness which will give you the best chance of doing well in your career long term, both with your current employer and when looking for other opportunities.
SIX WAYS TO KEEP YOUR EDGE
Check the In-Demand Skills in your Profession
Review job descriptions and make a list of the skills which employers are most often seeking in applicants.
Check out the LinkedIn profiles of high-level performers in your industry.
Make a Plan
What are the skills you most need to improve? Development a plan of action and timeline toward improving or accomplishing those skills.
Invest in a certification, seminar or class
There are many in-person or online classes you can take to achieve this goal.
Attend Professional Conferences and Read Professional Journals
A great way to compare your skills to those of others in your career field is by attending a professional conference. These conferences will also often have seminars or workshops dedicated to professional development
Professional journals and trade magazines are one of your best resources to keep abreast of technology developments in your industry and to track changes in best practices.
Don’t Forget to Develop Your Soft Skills
Your interpersonal skill set is just as important to your success as your job-based skills. How well you communicate with others? How often do you network beyond your own department? How well organized is your desk/workspace? How well do you manage your time? There is always room for strengthening these everyday skills.