Your Competitive Edge: Have Skills Will Travel

Sections of this topic

    have skills will travelWhat do you bring to the employment table?

    As organizations continue to change -they’ll grow, restructure, merge, right size, outsource – an increasingly vital career strategy is to make sure your competitive edge continues to be well honed, razor sharp, and very, very productive.

    Get this image in your mind—you are carrying a large suitcase or portfolio that holds all of your skills, experiences, and accomplishments. It is unique to you. You carry it, wherever you go. Is it heavy with many skills or is it light with only a few? Do you know if your portfolio would be of value in lots of different places or just a limited few?

    Periodically inspect your skills portfolio.
    Realize you are more than your job description. Rather, define yourself by what you do well and where you can use them. Which skills are state-of-the-art and in great demand? Which skills are somewhat rusty that need to be improved? How many are transferable to other areas inside your organization or even outside to other companies or industries?

    Think resume in everything you do.
    At the end of each year, whether you are looking for a new job or not, take the time to write or update your resume and compare it with last year’s. See if it has gotten noticeably better. See if it shows growth either in skills and competencies or in high valued assignments or projects?

    Take charge of your career.
    So, are you waiting for the company to magically tell you what you need to do? Or are you taking responsibility to keep your skills and expertise up to date and marketable? How often do you…

    • Examine your skills portfolio on a regular basis?
    • Determine if you have both breath and depth in your functional area?
    • Pinpoint specific skills and knowledge that you need to acquire or upgrade?
    • Periodically review educational opportunities that may help your career advancement?
    • Evaluate each potential assignment on the merits of growth, exposure and visibility to key people? Not all are equal.

    Career Success Tip:

    Your career security in a changing workplace lies less in your position and more in how marketable you are inside and outside your organization. So, have transferrable skills and therefore you will travel. View yourself as a roving skills portfolio to stay employable the rest of your life.

    Readers, what skills do you think will be necessary to succeed in the future?

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?