Professional success comes with the ability to remain valuable at work by staying on top of market trends and challenges. Employees are called to demonstrate high performance, be agile and deliver results, goals that cannot be achieved if their business knowledge and skills are stuck in the past. New technologies make their way into the market every day and professionals are asked to follow the same pace in learning how to best embrace them in their workplace.

On the other hand, some professionals might find themselves out of work for a period of time; either because of unexpected circumstances (i.e. layoffs) or out of personal choice (i.e. maternity leave, sabbatical). Whatever the reason, it is important for them to find ways to remain competitive in their sector, so that they can easily get back on track when time comes.

Relevance Vs. Years of Experience

Put yourself in employer’s shoes when looking for a candidate to fill in a new job opening. Having to choose between two candidates, one with 10 years of experience and 2 years recent gap, versus a young professional with 4 years of experience, digital- savvy, passionate about all new technologies and how to apply them. Even though the first candidate might have more years of experience, in case they cannot convince the interviewee about their up-to-market knowledge during the past 2 years, then the young enthusiastic candidate will most probably win this job.

Organizations are constantly faced with new challenges (i.e. changes in laws and regulations, covid19 etc.) while they are required to adapt to new situations in no time. Employees should prove they are capable of keeping up with this rapid pace and contributing to firm’s development, each one with their own knowledge and skills. Besides, the success of a business lies in the hands of its professionals.

How to achieve this?

Network. Surround yourself with high executives in top organizations who can share with you the difficulties they face and where they see things going in the near future. This can give you an insight of what worries big companies as well as what are the next business steps they are considering. Attending industry events can give you exposure to such people. Networking can take place both at a professional or a personal level.

Listen. Be an active listener of conversations both at work and outside. Trending topics and peoples’ concerns can help you foresee upcoming changes and give you a heads up of how to deal with them.

Read. Information is everywhere around us either in the apps we daily use or the websites we visit. Bookmark some key sites that you find useful and trustworthy and be regularly informed on global trends and industry developments. Go deeper into topics that specialize in your sector.

Practice. Don’t hesitate to suggest and implement new solutions, tools and applications at work. Turn theory into practice to test how things really work.

Don’t just sit back and relax

No one is irreplaceable at work, whatever their age and experience. Job security is an illusion and everything can change in the blink of an eye. Always seek for development and knowledge enhancement. Be proactive and prepared for what the next day might bring!

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not in any way reflect the views of my current or any previous employers.