Employers have higher expectations of their employees today than they did in the past. Digital Transformation isn't a choice anymore for enterprises! Enterprises are quick enough in adapting digital transformation solutions, which in turn has necessitated employees to be more up to date with technology to stay relevant.
In this highly competitive digital business environment, it is crucial to stay relevant, competitive, and marketable. You’ll need to make sure that you’re continuously improving and evaluating yourself regularly. Here are 10 tips that can help you stay relevant in the workforce.
1. Know How to Use Tools You’re Supposed to Use
If you’re struggling with the latest operating system or the latest version of the software that’s relevant to your field, now is the time to learn how to use it properly. Enroll in an online class, ask for training at your current workplace or offer to train a class (often the best way to learn is to prepare to teach a particular subject). If you’re having problems staying productive because you just don’t understand new technology, you’re going to have trouble keeping and/or finding a good-paying job.
2. Go to Trade Shows
Go to trade shows and attend seminars specific to your discipline. It’s easier to stay up to date when you’re listening to experts speak. Trade shows also give you a chance to focus on a specific niche. For example, if you’re attending a server-side application development conference, you can focus on attending ORM (Object/Relational Mapping) classes so that you can learn more about the various frameworks, typical patterns used in ORM, and development best-practices.
3. Keep Up With the Latest Industry News
Thanks to the advent of the web, it’s easier than ever to read. There are plenty of websites offering daily articles specific to your expertise. Take advantage of that disseminated knowledge and you’ll stay relevant.
The best way to keep up with the latest news is to use a news aggregator application and subscribe to the RSS feeds of websites dedicated to your discipline. If you don’t yet have a news aggregator, Feedly is highly recommended and is also free.
Poor worker health and related productivity losses cost U.S. employers $576 billion annually, including worker’s compensation, disability and group health program expenses."
4. Understand Your Clients’ Needs Better
You’ve probably noticed that technology evolves over time. Guess what? The needs of businesses evolve over time as well. Make sure that your portfolio of offerings to your clients is consistent with their current needs, which may not necessarily be the needs that they had when they hired you.
5. Know What Makes Your Competitors Successful
You certainly have competitors. Are any of them more successful than you? If so, find out what they are doing differently. Go and do likewise.
Never be afraid to stand on the shoulders of giants. If somebody else has developed a strategy that has led to success, there is no reason why you cannot mimic that strategy and be successful yourself.
7. Stay Social
Looking at the strong impact of social media, it is observed by McKinsey Global Institute that 72 percent of companies are having strong social presence and is even expecting every employee to stay relevant in social networks. Social media is a great way to stay in touch with clients and customers. It allows users to express concerns, ask questions, and even praise you for great work. With that in mind, make sure that you have a visible and professionally active presence on social media and keep your social profiles updated. That will also help keep your name in front of prospects. With companies encouraging BYOD in the Workplace, has increased the chances of employees to stay socially relevant.
“Research by STRATEGYANALYTICS indicates the average amount of devices the average person carries could reach 4.3 per person by 2020”.
8. Specialize in Your Area, Not Everything
Don’t try to be a jack-of-all-trades, while becoming a master of none. Instead, discover your natural aptitude and excel in that discipline. You’ll make yourself more marketable to employers who are searching for experts in that field. Look to job boards to find what the most sought after skills are and develop them in yourself.
9. Focus On the Big Picture
Use your specialized skills to help your company achieve greater things. Remember, your ongoing employment is tied directly to your company’s success. Strive to make your company more profitable and you’ll likely end up with job security, if not a promotion and more money. Build a reputation for yourself in your own company as a doer and problem solver.
10. Focus on Great Communication
Communication skills are still imperative in the globalized workplace environment. With workforce distributed across the globe, one may have to work with people of different cultural backgrounds. In such cases, it is important to understand the cultural sensitivity and relevance of your co-worker or clients and accordingly channel your communication. This holds true no matter what your field. Make sure that you can express disagreements professionally, explain things clearly, and speak to management in a way that they will understand. Learn how to be a better communicator by reading a book or enrolling in a local class to sharpen these highly required skills.