The last few years have been tough to navigate, especially when it comes to job security. From a global pandemic to the recent development in AI, job security has become a serious concern for today’s workforce with many positions being outsourced, cut, or revamped.
In light of these developments, we organised a panel discussion that aims to talk about strategies around today’s volatile economy with Hana Souckova (Managing Director, SAP Czech), Zuzana Kosorinova (Employee Engagement Lead, IT Talent Enablement, MSD), and Jaroslav Gergic (Senior Director of Software Engineering, SentinelOne). The conversation concluded with the importance of finding your unique selling proposition (USP) as the key in job security in this volatile market. We’ve outlined six steps to help you define your strengths, stand out from competition, and stay relevant.
1. Understand yourself and your super strengths.
Hana stressed the importance to remember that we are all different. While people with more experience can provide guidance as to how we can take our career further, it is ultimately up to us to reflect on our own situation and what we truly want. In order to help us reflect on what we do naturally well and can improve on with some training or experience, Zuzana suggested to look at two things: (1) what you have done well (i.e. specific projects or skills), and (2) what you enjoyed. Validate your reflections with your feedback from your managers, peers, and stakeholders.
It is also important to know whether you’d prefer being an individual contributor or a manager. Jaroslav stressed how he knew he would rather be an individual contributor and develop his skills and expertise as such rather than take on a position as a manager. This serves as an important element in deciding the direction of your career.
2. Stand out from competition.
After understanding your super strengths, the next step is to stand out from competition. Zuzana suggested to begin your reflection by defining how your specific expertise solves a specific problem or addresses a specific industry challenge. After defining this, continue by identifying the results your specialised knowledge and skills bring to the organisation or industry. Zuzana cautioned that identifying this may require some experimenting to find what feels most authentic to you.
3. Invest in your growth.
Hana stressed that nothing comes for free. You have to invest your time or money if you want to grow in your careerg. However, upskilling or reskilling doesn’t have to break the bank. She advised to look at programs that are financially supported programs, peer-to-peer learning, or charitable activities.
4. Know your values.
Zuzana identifies that knowing your values play a role in your satisfaction and happiness at work. This could be freedom, variety, or growth. Hana shared that you may feel differently towards your work each day; however, when your values align with your work, this will help you enjoy what you do. Moreover, Zuzana stressed that having your career align with your values also determine your integrity at work.
5. Build a strong personal brand in your professional network.
Today, this often means online presence but also offline presence in projects and work. Whether online or offline, this entails engaging with professionals in your field and building relations in order to expand your visibility and establish yourself as an expert.
6. Adapt to change.
While it is good to plan your career trajectory, don’t be too rigid about them. Learn how to adapt and be flexible. Be open to learn constantly and adapt to changes and transformations in your field and industry. Zuzana stressed that it is only by being adaptable can we be able to stay competitive. This is especially important when learning new technologies as well as taking advantage of opportunities that may present themselves to you in moments you least expect it.
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