The job search should be viewed as a lifelong process that does not end with interviewing for and securing a new position. Successful career management involves treating your career as a continuum of opportunities for growth and advancement and constructing a framework for creating, exploring and exploiting these opportunities. Plan for a stellar long-term career by following these simple guidelines for staying 'marketable' as provided by the career experts
Maintain a long-term vision and take control.
Always plan ahead and make sure it is you at the steering wheel of your career. Do not let a job in marketing dwindle to a position in graphics for example, because of missed opportunities, poor assertiveness skills and lack of direction. Take on projects and assignments that lead you further along your chosen route and try to veer away from others that do not promote your growth and advancement whenever it is possible. Your career should be a learning path and you should always steer towards the track that involves new learning and growth opportunities.
Build relationships both in and outside of your firm.
Get to know people in your chosen profession and make networking both within and outside of your firm part of your job description. The more connected you are with others in the profession, the easier it will be to secure a new position. Follow up with the people you meet on a regular basis and exchange information on your respective businesses as well as on your professional development eg, projects you are involved in, courses you have taken, deals you have landed etc. A close network of friends and/or professional associates is an invaluable career management resource.
Research your industry thoroughly.
Learn about competitors and new areas, products and innovations in the industry. Know who the players are and keep abreast of what direction the industry and the different players are moving in. The more you know about your domain, the more valuable you are to your present employer and the easier it is for you to market yourself to a different company.
Update your skills and develop new unique skills.
Some skills are always in more demand than others and successful research will identify what areas to focus on to make you most marketable in your chosen field. Whether it be taking a course in computer programming or soft skills training, aim to continuously enhance your skills and further your education. Plan on taking evening courses, attending seminars and maybe even getting a further degree part-time to stay ahead of the game.
Join professional associations.
These look great on your CV and are a great way to network with others, gain visibility and keep abreast of the changes in your industry. Your boss will be very pleased if you are aware of developments in your industry and if you are making a reputation for yourself that reflects positively on the firm. Try to speak at these meetings if you can.
Read the trade journals and industry literature.
There is no substitute for reading the trade literature to stay abreast of new developments and remain competitive. Always communicate the relevant material to your manager so he is aware of your efforts to keep ahead of the curve and also so that you can incorporate them into your unit's gameplan.