Eight Best Practices For Your Employability

Employability is the capability to stay employed or finding a new employement.

Your Experiences, Knowledge, Skills, Behaviours and Attitudes will influence your employability.

What are the Best Practices to maintain your employability as you go through your life ?
1. Employability is a Continuous Excercise
Employability is similar to staying fit. You need to excercise continuously. Too often I see people stopping this excercise as they grow in their career or reach a certain age. Yes it is an effort and it is the same as with excercising. Every time you need to overcome your inner resistance.

2. Experience matters – Overreliance on Titles and Certificates
Continuously look for challenges inside and outside of work, during your time of job search or while you study or even when you are retired.
Experience matters most. It is a powerful statement about yourself if you can say that you did this and such thing and had this and such successful outcome or this and such lessons learned.
Example: Someone would work in R&D and in his or her spare time would start a blog. How powerful would it be if this person could say at one point that by using marketing techniques she or he was able to increase the number of readers. This will show that this person demonstrated capabilities outside of his or her domain of expertise.

3. Use the Power of Developmental Assignments – stop looking for the easy way
A lot of research has been done on development assignments. These assignments are key when increasing your employability. By planning these activities well you can broaden your experience base across functions and businesses and demonstrate capabilities that are currently not fully utilized in your current development path.
I recommend you to read the book:
McCauly, Cynthia D.: Developmental Assignments – Creating Learning Expriences without Changing Jobs, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, North Carolina

4. Web2.0 – don’t miss it
Get yourself an insight in Web2.0 and what it can do for your area of expertise. Example: I myself as I am in Human Resources Development monitor regularly what Web2.0 could potentially change in the domain of Employee Development.

5. Networking face to face
The older you get the more you should put away time for networking. Toastmasters is for example an ideal place for networking and you improve your leadership and presentations skills at the same time

6. Social Networking via Web
Create yourself a compelling presence in Linkedin, Xing or Facebook. Additionally use your blog to list your experiences and successes and participate in relevant user forums and discussion groups.

7. Improve Your Communication Skills
Never give up on improving your communication skills. Besides Presentation Skills (toastmasters for example) take a negotiation skills training, join a debate club or particpate in politics. Read up on Listening Skills, writing skills or anything else you find on communication skills in the web. Communication is the same as learning a language. You need to practice continuously. If you do not practice your skill level same like with languages will eventually decrease over time.

8. Business Skills 
Any organisation profit or non-profit is a complex system with many processes in place.
The more you have an overview of an organisation the more your learn about organisations the more easier you can navigate your development path.
I recommend you to read the book to get you a good up to date overview:
Navarro, Peter: What the Best MBAs Know, McGraw-Hill, 2005 or visit
www.peternavarro.com

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