For many of us, graduating from college is considered the peak of our learning journey. There are some professions that require a degree in addition to mandating that their members stay relevant through continuing education. But for those of us in fields that don’t require ongoing learning, how do we motivate ourselves each year to keep up with the times?
Any learning or new knowledge is a form of ongoing education in life. But this article will focus on professional development to enhance one’s market appeal to current and potential employers.
To avoid becoming stale and irrelevant, employed individuals not looking to retire any time soon and unemployed job hunters need to enhance their current skills or acquire new ones.
Take an administrative assistant, for example. What could he or she do to improve marketability? If word processing or creating financial spreadsheets are core responsibilities, obtaining certification for those programs is something to consider. If you’re in a position responsible for generating revenue for your employer, enrolling in a one-day basic accounting class will offer you a broad view of the financial management cycle. The additional benefit is that you can note on your resume completion of classes for continuing education, certification, and skill enhancement.
Of course, someone with a master’s degree coupled with ESL certification is probably more attractive to a potential employer. But—in some situations—my undergraduate degree and certification will give me an advantage over other job candidates.
Besides enhancing one’s skills and knowledge, giving technology a big hug is an important element of staying fresh in the workforce.
Adapting—in spite of myself
Whether employed or searching for work, according to many HR managers, job recruiters and online career sites, having a tactical web presence is an obvious way for individuals to appear contemporary while amplifying their internet visibility.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and a personal web site are all pushed as “must-haves” for being tuned in and searchable. Personally, I try to find a balance between tuning in and tuning out. And what’s wrong with keeping a low profile?
That said, as you can see, here I am with my very own vanity website! Let’s focus on me, me, me. World, please notice me. I launched this website recently and am curious to find out if it exposes new paths of opportunity.
So far, I’m enjoying the process of evolving with the times and shaping my e-identity.
For resources about staying fresh and marketable, visit the Career Tips section of this site. In addition, Neil Patel and Aaron Agius co-wrote an exhaustive e-guide on quicksprout.com related to this topic titled The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand. It’s a good read that details each step of the branding process for individuals. As of the date of this post, the guide is still available online.
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