Are you becoming obsolete at work?

Posted by Amanda Augustine

June 03, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

Stay competitive in the workplace with this top advice.

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You’re well-established in your career and you have the track record to prove it. You’re comfortable at your current role and management seems content with your work. All is right with the world.

But as Millennials flood the job market, you get a little anxious. What if your experience is not enough? While this concern is reasonable, take heart. A survey by Adecco found that hiring managers are three times more likely to hire experienced workers than their Gen Y counterparts.

That said, it’s in every professional’s best interest to take steps to remain relevant and competitive in the workforce. Below are some tips to help you accomplish just that.

Never stop learning

The quickest way to lose your edge is to be stagnant in your career. Don’t let yourself become so comfortable that you stop challenging yourself. Seek out new professional-development opportunities at relevant industry events, your local college and online. There are a number of webinars, online workshops and courses you can take to brush up on a skill or learn an entirely new one.

Be a trend setter

Make it a point to stay current with the latest trends in your field. Join relevant Meetup and LinkedIn groups and subscribe to online publications to help you keep a pulse on your industry. If you want to take it a step further, set up Google News Alerts for key associations, industry terms or competitors in your market so you stay up-to-date with relevant news. Share any valuable nuggets of information you learn with the team, when appropriate.

Give your brand a facelift

Your appearance is an extension of your professional brand. Consider what your current brand – on and offline – says about you.  Does it portray a confident, approachable professional who is not only knowledgeable, but still passionate about and relevant within your industry? While you don’t need to be well-versed in every social media channel, it’s important to manage your online brand. Establish at least one professional online profile that is fully fleshed out and aligned with your career goals, and take steps to secure your personal accounts.

Make friends with technology

It is often assumed that senior professionals and new technologies don’t mix well. In fact, Adecco found that 72 percent of hiring managers felt that mature workers need more technological know-how. It’s important for you to demonstrate technical savvy wherever possible to dispel such stereotypes. While building an online presence and leveraging social media will help with this cause, it’s even more important to stay updated on the new technologies emerging in your field.

Mentor others… and seek new mentors

The benefits of mentorship only grow as your career progresses. Continue to seek our new people to become part of your personal board of directors, helping you manage or further advance your career. In addition, find a junior member of your team to mentor. Not only will you find the experience rewarding, but chances are, you’ll also learn a thing or two from your mentee. 

Build a brag sheet

Employers today always want to know what you’re doing for their company today, not what you helped them accomplish 6 years – or even 6 months – ago. Be prepared for these conversations at any time by building a brag sheet. Chronicle your professional accomplishments and contributions and continually update it on a regular basis so you’re always prepared to discuss the value you bring to the organization.

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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

 

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development, Workplace