If you’re currently looking for a job, this is a great opportunity for you to develop and build on your professional skill set. You don’t have to go back to school to do it, either. Here are some ways to improve your abilities to increase your marketability, confidence, and your income.
List your strengths
Identify your strongest industry skills. Which ones are most valuable to employers? If you find you’re missing some of those desired skills, learn them: Take online or evening/weekend classes; watch free presentations and tutorials; or volunteer/intern somewhere relevant to your career. Having in-demand skills will make you an in-demand hire. Your expertise makes you an asset to any company and increases your chances of getting a higher-paying job.
Keep up with the trends
Staying up-to-date and informed about latest and greatest in your field is essential. Check out the blogs of your industry’s rock stars. Subscribe to trade magazines. Join clubs or online forums related to your career. Attend events near you to mix and mingle with like-minded individuals, network and gain industry tips. Always keep up with the evolving landscape of your field.
Start a project
Be resourceful with your free time and strengthen your resume by volunteering or taking on freelance work. Scan Craigslist or local job boards for short-term gigs. Consider low-paying or pro-bono freelance jobs to enrich your portfolio and expand your client list. The thing about offering your services to your community or local organization is that it helps you build interpersonal, networking and social skills, as well as contacts for future gigs. And not only will you push your existing skills to the next level, but there’s potential to snag some great references.
Have people vouch for you
Talking about yourself is tiring; let someone else do it for you! Ask former employers, coworkers and clients to verify your skills by writing testimonials and recommendations for your LinkedIn profile. This way, the results of your work are tangible and real.
Learning is a lifelong journey. Whether you’re looking for a job or not, periodically updating your skills and adding new ones is rewarding, uplifting, and beneficial. So what are you waiting for?