If there’s one thing that the great recession taught us is that we should take nothing for granted. Whereas before people would get a job and know that they would keep it for life, today employees are well aware that they should never get too comfortable in a company, and that they should always keep on their toes.
Even if you are not a job hopper, you shouldn’t eliminate the possibility of needing to look for another job at some point, and you should equip yourself with the right tools, so that if the time ever comes to switch jobs you’ll be able to find work somewhere else.
But, you do not only need to keep on your toes in case you get fired, you should also stay vigilant if you want your career to advance. Competing in today’s workplace is not as simple as staying long hours and being loyal to your boss. In order to be able to compete in today’s workplace you need to be willing to do the following:
1. Continue Your Education
If there’s one thing that’s certain to happen in your industry is that it’s going to evolve. New technologies will continue to incorporate themselves in the workplace, so it’s essential that you remain up to date with all the changes in your industry.
Continuing your education should certainly not be limited to keeping up with new technologies, because there’s always something new to learn. Industries do not remain static and if you want to have a leg up on your competition you need to be well versed in all aspects of your industry.
2. Be a Problem Solver
The reality is that if you want to be able to compete in today’s workplace you need to be able to identify problems and produce solutions for them. You need to become the person that people come to when they are struggling with something, and you should be able to come up with various solutions for each issue before taking it up to your manager.
You need to be the sort of professional who never walks into their boss’ office not knowing how to go about dealing with a situation, you should, instead, be the guy who walks into their boss’ office confidently knowing what should be done.
3. Become a Time-Management Master
The more the world progresses, the more issues to deal with come up on a daily basis. In order to be able to compete in today’s workplace you should be a professional who’s always well-organized, and who never falls behind on their deadlines. Being that person inspires respect in the workplace –a necessary attribute if you want to compete in today’s workplace.
Technology provides you with all the right tools to help you become a great time-management master. There are dozens of apps out there that can help you in this endeavour.
4. Build Your Leadership Skills
You neither have to be a CEO or a manager to take interest in your leadership skills, but you definitely need to take an interest in them if you are planning to be any of these things.
In order to build your leadership skills pay attention to your people skills, you need to be the kind of person who people come to in their hour of need. You should keep communication channels open at all times, and you should be driven and determined to successfully complete each project handed to you.
In today’s workplace people are no longer out to get each other, collaboration is vastly appreciated and you need to be a good colleague in order to be able to survive in the workplace. However, if you are interested in being more than just a good colleague, and you want to be able to compete in today’s workplace, it’s essential that you become the leader in your workplace.
5. Be Adaptable and Flexible
As discussed throughout this article, the workplace is ever changing and constantly evolving and in order to be successful in today’s workplace you need to understand that you need to be able to adapt and be flexible enough to accept new ideas and new realities in the workplace.
Adaptability and flexibility mean different things across different industries, but the essence is that you need to be able to go with the wind, don’t allow yourself to be stuck to one place, be open to new ideas and be innovative.
If you are interested in having a leg up on your competition then you need to become a better professional, that’s not to say that you should kill yourself at work, but that you need to keep your horizons open.