It’s never too early to begin thinking about your future career prospects. In fact, you should think about your career strategy now, and begin working toward improving your career prospects.
Even if you feel as though you are in your dream job right now, it makes sense prepare for the possibility that you could be laid off. On top of that, what seems like a dream job now may become a nightmare over time.
If you want to make sure that you are always somewhat marketable, here are 7 tips for improving your future career prospects:
1. Articulate Your Strengths
It helps to be able to tell others what your strengths are. Do a little skills inventory (don’t forget soft skills!), and recognize what you do well. Then think about how you can articulate that in a way that shows others how valuable you are.
2. Develop an Expertise
While it does help to be a generalist in some ways, you should also have an expertise. Figure out what expert skills or knowledge you have, and then work to become known in that area. In a world that is increasingly moving toward hiring freelancers and consultants, having a specialty can help down the road.
3. Learn How To Learn
Believe it or not, there is a right way to learn. There are techniques you can use to become a better learner, and you should employ them in your life. At the very least, make it a point to stay up to date in your area of expertise, and be willing to learn about others, and be open to new ways of doing things.
4. Build a Network
Now is a great time to build a network. Don’t wait until you need a new job to begin networking. You should be building your network over time. Connect with people in your field. Look for a mentor. Help others improve. You can also network with those in related businesses and fields. Look for ways to make connections now, and you’ll already be plugged in for later.
5. Consider Learning Another Language
It’s true that more people around the world are speaking English. However, you can set yourself apart by learning another language. Additionally, you can differentiate by learning about other cultures. There’s something to be said for learning how to understand others, and realizing that they might think a little different from you.
6. Learn How To Solve Problems
While it’s important to know how to identify problems, you should also be able to offer solutions. Learn how to think beyond just two solutions, as well. Develop a talent for creative problem solving. This is not something that comes naturally to most people; you will need to work at it, and develop techniques that help you become a problem solver.
7. Prepare Your Finances
Finally, make sure that you prepare your finances for what might be next. You want to make sure that you are able to handle job setbacks, and that you have an emergency fund built up. It helps to be ready with a prioritized list of what you will cut from your life if you need to in order to make ends meet. Get your finances in order, and you will have more flexibility in your career.