Yesterday I wrote about a little quandary some working professionals face: being stuck in a job that will limit their future career potential. Let’s face it, some skill sets just aren’t as desirable on the open market. So what’s a person to do, in such a situation? Well many of you, that commented yesterday, hit the nail on the head. You gotta diversify yourself and think outside the box.
Just as diversification is important in a retirement portfolio, so it is true in your personal life. I might be an investigator by trade, but that doesn’t mean I will be limited to investigatory type positions the rest of my life (at least I sure hope it doesn’t mean that).
Here are a few ways I plan to make myself more competative on future job applications…
1) Read. Easy enough right? I ain’t no financial guru, but the majority of the finance skillz I picked up, came from one place…books. I use to hate reading in college, probably because it was required, but now I can’t get enough. Books are like candy for the brain. Do I have any financial experience or degrees? No. But I do have a passion for money and at least the fundamentals down. I’m sure this would help me out in an interview for a business related position.
2) Do something. I was interested in personal finance, so instead of sit idly by, I decided to do something about it. Thus the birth of PDITF. Sure blogging may have helped my writing skills (or lack thereof) a little bit, but more importantly, it has spawned quite a few more talents. I know how to use photoshop and I’ve become somewhat proficient in CSS coding and other computer mumbo jumbo. My blog has turned in to a small business, one that makes me a couple thousand a year. Never did I think I would be a quasi- business owner.
3) Network. “It’s not what you know but who you know.” While that may be a frustrating quote it is DEFINITELY true. You have to surround yourself with people involved in the field you want to work in. If you want to be a writer, start hanging out at coffee shops. If you want to be a photographer, join a picture club. If you want to be a babysitter, start sitting on babies (wait…that’s not how it works). If you know people in your field of interest, maybe they can put in a good word for you with their hiring manager. Remember, your future employer is going to train you on how to do your job, you just have to prove to them your the best candidate to be trained.
4) Education. I put education last on purpose. Not because I think it is the least important (although I kinda do), but because I think people overemphasize the importance of further education and end up neglecting other aspects of their life. Sure, if you want to be a physician you better go to medical school, lawyers to law school, and truck drivers to…truck driving school? But a masters or Ph.D. does not guarantee employment, and if you think it does, you’re dumb. A few of yesterday’s commenters suggested taking courses at the local community college. GREAT IDEA! C.C.’s are generally pretty cheap and have a lot of flexibility in class schedule. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT quit your job to go back to school full time to get an M.B.A. only because you think it will ensure higher income.
So those are four ways to increase your desirability to future employers, regardless of your current position.
Can you think of other ways to stand out from the rest?
p.s. if you are reading this post via RSS or email, you should check out my actual website today, I posted up my Valentines banner (putting those photoshop skills to use)
p.p.s. I am super duper excited for tomorrow’s post. It’s a little experiment that I hope you all will consider participating in. I can’t give away too much, but I’ll give ya a hint… it’s a “secret”. 🙂