Unlike before, employers of labour have a high expectation of their employees. Employers want to see their employee developing no matter the stage of their career. To keep your career on an upward trajectory as an employee, you need to do more than the bare minimum and take professional development into your own hands. Being “relevant” at work helps you remain employable, relate to younger customers, influence the next generation and protect your career.
Here are 5 tips on how to stay relevant at work;
1. Ensure You Know How to Use Tools You Are 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 place of work, 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. Keep Your Network Strong
Join alumni groups on LinkedIn, attend professional conferences and participate in online discussions to stay up on trends and what people are talking about. The more you force yourself outside your bubble to meet new people, have new experiences, and hear new conversations, the more relevant you become. Managers recognize when someone brings fresh thinking and new solutions to workplace challenges. You want to be that someone. Otherwise, you might be on your way out of the workplace sooner than you envisaged because your relevance is no longer felt. Thus, as much as possible, stay updated on trending issues in your field.
3. Be Visible On Social Media
Social media continues to grow as a powerful communication tool. In a world driven by digitisation, the importance of having a professional social media presence is extremely important. Both individuals and organisations have to market themselves in a favourable way, to attract positive attention from the right audiences. Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are extremely valuable tools for marketing, advertising, and recruitment, and are transforming all industries in some way. Try getting involved with your company’s social media presence. The skills you develop as you learn to navigate your way around the world wide web are hugely valuable in the workforce, irrespective of industry.
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.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
There is no shame in asking someone to show you how to use a feature on your phone or a shortcut on a software program.
Take a step back from your job and look who is around you. If you are working for a successful company, you are likely surrounded by experienced professionals who hold a wealth of knowledge. Ask your peers for one-on-one time with them; proactively seek their help and advice. People are generally happy to help eager people, you just need to ask! Attending internal committee meetings and getting involved in extracurricular social activities will help you develop relationships with people across your organisation. This is a great way to increase your internal profile, soak up information and be taken seriously as a rising star!
As Socrates once said, ”Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” As long as you keep on learning, you will keep moving forward. Don’t just sit there, go and make things happen!
5. 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.