In today’s economy, employment is no longer about meeting specific requirements and logging in relevant alone. It is also about competition, earning one’s spot, and remaining relevant to an organization. Companies have enhanced their hiring processes to ensure that they only hire the most qualified and deserving people to work for them. In recent years, character inquiries or background checks have become more in-depth, helping the companies to sift through a stack of applications. They have also sought unemployment rates in Asia-Pacific might increase two-fold. As it is often said, no one is indispensable.
Given these realities in the job market, how does one remain secure in terms of employment? When a company needs to put people on a redundancy list, how does an employee or manager emphasize his or her unique value to the organization? Here’s how to become redundancy-proof or a good catch for headhunters:
The first step to making one’s self highly valuable to any organization is to show a commitment to continuous learning. Competition in the job market is getting tougher and tougher, no doubt. Those with the highest qualifications from the best schools, people with licenses or certifications, and individuals who came from reputable companies will always have the edge. Those with average academic achievements need not think that they cannot rise in the organization or be hired by prestigious companies. It does, however, need some effort to improve one’s list of competencies and add more weight to an individual’s professional credibility.
To put it simply, those who want to remain relevant in an organization should consider pursuing higher academic degrees or enroll in various certification courses. Aside from the obvious reason of gaining more knowledge and developing more skills, doing this would also signal to human resources that a person is driven to succeed through continuous self-improvement. By investing in one’s own professional development, it means that the person can eventually offer more to the company than what he or she was originally hired for.
For example, a person who was hired as a network administrator given his qualification as a bachelor’s degree holder in computer science would do well to pursue a master’s degree in data science. To the human resource manager, this network administrator is gearing up to take their company to a higher level in terms of data analytics and presentation as a tool for the firm’s policy and decision-makers. To retain this person, human resources may have to offer more incentives like higher pay or even a promotion.
Master Soft Skills
Of course, not everything that needs to be developed by a professional or employee can be captured on paper. While degrees and certifications are highly important, they are not the end-all and be-all in any profession or occupation. One must also develop and master what is referred to as “soft skills.” These skills include time management, the ability to network, the capacity to work with a team, creative thinking, and an ability to prevent or resolve conflicts. Communication, leadership, and negotiation are also soft skills that need to be developed by everyone in an organization, and not just by those in management positions. In summary, these soft skills focus on building relationships and improving the way people work together. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt once said: “The most important single ingredient needed in the formula of success is in knowing how to get along with people.”
Develop a Reputation as a Problem Solver
Another good idea is to have the willingness to volunteer for challenging, special projects. Most people in any organization would like to cruise along, focus on their given tasks, and not be bothered by other issues or concerns of management. For the consummate professional or model employee, taking on challenging assignments is just part of the game. This helps that professional or employee develop a reputation for being the “go-to guy” or the “problem solver” of the company. In return, he will receive appreciation and perhaps even incentives from management. No one lets go of an individual who is known to be reliable for solving problems of a team or company.
Ask Your Superior How You Can Improve
While having a solid sense of self-esteem is good, it is still helpful to remain humble and teachable at all times. It is always seen as a good trait in a professional or employee when he or she asks a superior about self-improvement. Asking one’s boss or immediate supervisor on how one can improve performance will always be welcomed and valued. This, again, signals that the individual wants to remain productive and relevant to the goals and needs of the organization.
Accept Responsibility and Do Better
In any organization, mistakes are bound to happen. Even the best and the brightest experience failures. No one is exempt from committing errors and miscalculations. The best character to demonstrate during times like these is the ability to accept responsibility and commit to doing better next time. There is no room for excuses or passing the blame.
By implementing these five action points, any person can raise their “stock” and be acknowledged as an invaluable resource to the organization. Following these suggestions may lead to a new job offer, a promotion, or a better opportunity in another field or company. Regardless of the economy or job market, anybody can take the wheel and drive toward the direction of career growth and success.