Staying marketable is about making yourself indispensible to your current employer or irresistible to a prospective one. It is a commitment to continually expanding your skills and knowledge in order to stay current, competitive and in a strong position to progress your career.
Improve your skills Keeping your skills fresh, current and relevant is the best way to stay marketable. Align your skill set with your current employer’s plans, as well as those of potential employers. Identify any gaps that need addressing to position yourself as a highly valuable employee. Focusing on developing your transferable skills (in leadership, communication, or technology for example) is a smart investment should you need to diversify your career in the future.
Commit to professional development Continual learning illustrates your commitment to continual improvement. Strengthening your qualifications is an important way to increase the value you represent to your current or potential employer. You can gain new skills and knowledge through in-house training, distance-learning, online courses, workshops and conferences. Volunteering for projects and events can also expand your skills and knowledge in a practical way.
Build your network Your network of contacts is one of the most useful job search and career development tools you have. Make the effort to attend professional association meetings, events and conferences. As well as building your reputation as a well-connected and valued peer, networking helps to keep you top of mind when opportunities arise within or outside your company.
Keep abreast of information Anticipate what skills and experience employers will seek now and in the future. Remain current with industry trends by reading trade publications, journals, websites and industry reports. Work with a mentor to learn from their experiences and insights. Use social media to receive live information on issues concerning your profession.