04 May Eight Ideas for Improving Our Employability
Original Spanish version published in El Comercio newspaper (Peru) on May 4, 2016
- There is no sure job. No organization can guarantee its own continuity, let alone yours. Therefore, always bear in mind that all jobs are temporary, they can last 36 years or 3 months, but either way they will always end. A job last as long as it works for both you and your employer, almost like a marriage….
- We are not paid to go to work but rather to add value to the company, and that value should ideally be as quantifiable as possible. In order to measure it, it is a good idea to ask yourself: the work I just did, what did it mean to the company, the project, the customer, or the person I was working with? Asking ourselves these questions after we complete different tasks helps us to assess the value of our contribution to the balance sheet and/or the organization’s mission.
- We need to quantify our contributions and record these on our résumé as we go along. That way, it will always be up to date and we will not have to go on an “archaeological dig” through our papers when we need to prepare a résumé for a possible job offer, promotion, or exit. Any of those can happen at any moment and when we least expect it.
- It is important to see ourselves as the service providers we are –more than just as employees or executives–, regardless of whether or not we are on someone’s payroll. The way I’m paid doesn’t affect the foundation of my relationship with the organization that hires my professional services under any terms. It is my client and that’s how I should treat it.
- The boss represents the organization, and it is therefore wise to value him as our best client. He –or she– selects, evaluates, and refers our services. Those references will have a good or bad impact on our careers for a long time. Colleagues, peers, and superiors are also our internal clients, and we owe them the best of our services. This change in focus is very positive and works wonders on our attitude of service, professional brand, prestige, and relationships in the working world.
- Our services are evaluated in almost all aspects based on international standards. It is our responsibility to see that they are of the best possible quality, and that our skills, abilities, and knowledge are always relevant and up to date. That, together with excellent performance and high productivity, makes us easier to recognize as a strategic resource –that is, as someone whose services are highly valued, that companies want to retain and, above all, not let the competition hire. Having that kind of value puts us in an agreeable and very advantageous situation for achieving our career goals.
- It is a good idea to look at and care for our career as if it were our own business, since it is a principal source of income. Thinking and acting like the business owner of our career does a lot to improve our attitude towards the job and to make us fully aware of our performance, effectiveness, productivity, and competitiveness.
- That entrepreneurial attitude has a very positive impact on our level of employability and generates more demand for our services –that is, it gives us more professional “charisma,” creating a virtuous circle with more and better options for professional growth, development, satisfaction, and success.