The job market is constantly evolving; today’s jobs are not the same as yesterday’s, and tomorrow brings a new set of challenges. Nowadays, hardly anyone can afford to rest on their laurels their whole working life. You need to hone skills that better your employability, keep yourself up to date and stay at the forefront of your field.
While its exact definition has varied with time and location, it’s clear that today, maintaining your employability means being able to adapt your skills to an ever-changing labour market and knowing how to sell yourself.
This flexibility has become key, not only to finding a job, but also to your development within an organisation and your ability to seize new opportunities that may arise. After all, it’s not just a question of being able to meet the job market’s shifting requirements. You must also equip yourself to acquire new skills that align with your personal aspirations. Having the tools to stay at the top of your vocation is often the key to good employability, even in fields that may generate few new jobs.
Develop your skills
Training courses are the most efficient way to gain new skills and hone existing ones. Whether you’re looking to update your CV or add another string to your bow, it’s not just students who can benefit from this approach! It’s something you should apply throughout your career.
You can also enrol in any mobility programmes offered by your company, make use of online self-learning resources like MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), or even turn to professional training organisations; for example, the INFPC through the www.lifelong-learning.lu portal, the Luxembourg Lifelong Learning Center (LLLC) of the Chamber of Employees, the House of Training of the Chamber of Commerce and ABBL, or the Chamber of Trades of Luxembourg.
“Never stop learning”
According to Oriane Martin, Traffic & Community Manager at Moovijob: “In Luxembourg, training courses are more than just a good idea. You have to be able to remain at the forefront of your field as standards and professions develop.”
Faced with daily changes on the Luxembourg job market, Oriane notes that: “If we take the field of IT as an example, you need to learn continuously to be able to adapt to new technology, programming languages and company-specific skills. In finance, you have changes in terms of data and standards, and you have to be comfortable with these new aspects to be hired at all. It’s the same for marketing, where new tools are being released every day and each generation brings its own set of websites and social media platforms to learn about. It affects all business sectors!”
Completing training shows that someone wants to better themselves, to progress in their career and not let their development stagnate after a few first achievements.
“A sign of professionalism”
For Oriane, beyond letting you acquire new skills, pursuing training also makes a good impression on current or future employers: “Completing training shows that someone wants to better themselves, to progress in their career and not let their development stagnate after a few first achievements. It’s a sign of professionalism and shows your adaptability.” Oriane also believes that, “because training courses bring together many different people, they’re also a great chance for you to expand your network and seek new opportunities.”
You may be interested to know that, to encourage working people to keep learning, the Luxembourg government has introduced training-related benefits, granting employees special leave days (individual leave, leave for language courses, etc.) and allowing them to flexibly schedule their working hours. You can also find financial aid for companies and individuals.
Build your personal brand
Keeping a close eye on new developments in your sector and taking relevant courses is a great start, but it’s not enough by itself. Your efforts have to show! You’ve got to sell yourself and grab employers’ attention. This is something we call “personal branding”.
Maintaining a good relationship with your old bosses or clients is extremely important. You need to create a positive image for yourself, especially on a market the size of Luxembourg’s.
Take control of your brand
Whatever your field of specialisation, you need to get out there and promote yourself if you want to increase your employability. You can do this in a number of ways:
- start a blog or website on topics in your profession that interest you;
- cite awards or accolades you received for specific work;
- participate in forums;
- speak at conferences;
- publish articles in your area of expertise;
- give press interviews, affiliated yourself with events, etc.
The goal is to get people saying good things about you! Maintaining a good relationship with your old bosses or clients is also extremely important. You need to create a positive image for yourself, especially on a market the size of Luxembourg’s.
Be active on social networks
When looking to improve your employability, it’s also crucial that you manage your online reputation, including how you appear on social media. Whether on LinkedIn, Viadeo, Twitter or Facebook, your goal is to increase your visibility by adapting your activity to the platform in question.
“On LinkedIn, for example, you can publish and share information on a topic of interest related to your job. This shows that you are professional, are willing to invest in yourself, and intend to be an expert in your sector,” says Oriane. “You need to keep in touch with your contacts, but if you don’t have the time you can always simply ‘like’ publications, articles, etc. This demonstrates that you have a strong interest in your profession.”
Get out there and network
Networking is another good way to increase your employability. This means building and expanding your professional network, and is particularly important for the Luxembourg market.
Oriane encourages you to “go to trade fairs, evening events, chat with managers or even recruiters – this will give you a better idea of market trends. The more people you know, the easier it will be to find new opportunities. You need to be transparent, active and communicate well. It’s an effective strategy that you’ll need to keep up on a regular basis.”
If you apply all these tips then you’ll be well on your way to enhancing your professional profile. You can’t just coast on past achievements if you want to have a successful professional life, and this also rings true for your personal life – you need to put in the necessary effort to become who you want to be. You won’t change just by wishing it so; actions speak louder than words!