9 Top Skills To Thrive In Today's Competitive Job Market - Week 2
Last week, I commented on how the notion of retiring after 40 years of working for the same company was a thing of the past. I went on to outline three top skills to help you stay ahead in today’s competitive job market: 1) Becoming an effective team player; 2) Having a love of continuous learning; and 3) Developing an understanding of cultural diversity. The next three top skills are as follows:
TOP SKILL 4 - RESEARCHING THE JOB MARKET
With the explosion of social media, it is often hard to sift fact from opinion. Often your perceptions of careers and jobs is inaccurate because your understanding is based on information that has been obtained second hand or you are too busy to research what is happening in your sector at the moment. The key to you surviving is to understand the fast-changing nature of the wider jobs market. How do you do this? Research current trends in your job sector. Develop an excellent understanding of the key players in your market and what qualities makes them unique. Keep up to date with recent news, events and government policy. You should join the relevant job related groups on Linkedin to increase your market knowledge. Keep up to date with relevant group discussions on Linkedin and Twitter and follow the key influencers.
TOP SKILL 5 - NETWORKING
Why would you want to do this? You can learn more about jobs that interest you and how an industry works by speaking to people who are doing the jobs or are working in industries you may be interested in. Look up contacts on LinkedIn and go for a coffee with them. People enjoy speaking about what they do and what they enjoy. You may find out some really useful information by asking them about their careers. Good conversation is an art and involves skilled questioning. Open ended questions require more than a ‘yes’ or no’ answer and allow your conversation to develop and engage the other party further. For instance, you might try to ask your contact the following questions:
How did you get started in this kind of work?
What does your role involve?
What do you most (or least) enjoy about your job?
How would you describe the culture of your organisation?
What is it like to work for such a large/small organisation?
How competitive is the job market in this sector?
Where are vacancies within this area advertised?
By asking these kind of questions, you will start to understand whether a job or industry is right for you. If after speaking with your contact you find that you are put off by what they have said, then your time has not been wasted. Now you can spend your time researching other sectors and jobs that may be of interest.
TOP SKILL 6 - BECOME RESOURCEFUL
Try to teach yourself to be solution-driven, to analyse and find answers to problems yourself, rather than being easily deterred by failure. When people are resourceful, they will always entertain new ideas, approaches and possibilities. They will become more self-sufficient. Put yourself in situations where you have to trust your own judgement and become more self-reliant. By becoming more resourceful, you will develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.