Five Strategies to Become a More Attractive Employee
Professional Development is an essential part of our career. Mention the phrase
to a colleague and their mind conjures images of attending an educational training
program. However, professional development reaches far beyond traditional classroom training.
As a Resume Writer and Career Coach, I frequently ask my clients the
following questions: "What have you done to improve yourself in the last year? Are
you adapting to new changes, are you keeping up with your industry, trends,
technology, and other vital components to your career?"
If you feel you have veered off the professional development path, perhaps now is
an ideal time to get back on track. After all, professional development is a
catalyst in becoming a more attractive job candidate. Moreover, it can help you land
an internal promotion or a deserved salary increase, and can position you to become
more valued to teams, projects, and your employer. Of equal importance, it can help
you be an employee the company simply live without and can't afford to downsize.
The benefits of investing dollars, sweat equity, and time in professional
development are rewarding.
Here are a few examples of professional development initiatives:
1. Technology. Despite the fact nearly every professional uses e-mail as a primary
communication tool, many have no experience downloading or uploading documents
via e-mail. Therefore it is essential to master these simple tasks. After all, you
donít want to get a new job and be unable to handle these tasks! Learn how to use
e-mail effectively, itís critical. Simply ask someone to teach you the nuances of
your e-mail program. In an hour, you can become proficient in e-mail functions.
2. Software. If you donít know how to navigate through your computerís hard drive,
find files, or perform routine maintenance functions, you should. If youíre not a
user of Microsoft Word, you need to be. Word is the software of choice for nearly
every company. On the same token, you wouldnít want to land a new job and not be
able to use popular software.
Ask someone to teach you, take a course, read a book, or buy a training CD. There
are many people returning to work after a long sabbatical who are not familiar with
Microsoft Office, and itís essential in todayís business world. Donít let lack of
software knowledge stop you from getting the job you want.
I challenge you to become a proficient user of MS Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.
The more you know, the more value you offer. Mastering PowerPoint can make you a
valued member of projects teams. Become recognized as a "guru" or "master" of some
technology application so you will be valued, needed, and known throughout your office.
3. Foreign languages. Perhaps youíre a professional who travels globally but you
havenít learned a new language. Well, maybe it's time! You will become a more valued
employee if you can master a new language. It will impress prospective employers
and clients, help you climb the career ladder, or lead to a promotion or a committee
or team appointment.