A major issue since Covid-19 is beginning to wane: Company-sponsored training and development programs have been curtailed for the past year or so. Hiring managers require new hires to be up to date on their skills for top performance. Lack of training over the past 16 months has put everyone behind the curve.
For companies, it’s a “make or buy” dilemma. Does the company create the talent internally or buy the talent on the open market? Does your company train and promote from within or does it go to the outside marketplace for replacement talent? For the individual, was your company smart enough to create an internal learning center? Have you taken on-line courses and certifications during the year? Will your next company have a strong internal training program? These questions must be answered or you can find yourself increasingly behind the talent curve. So, what do you do? Here are some ideas:
- Take the initiative and suggest to your boss that you add skills and knowledge to your job with on-line programs and courses. Increase your value to the company. The company should provide the time and cost of the programs/courses.
- Talk to Human Resources about internal programs that are available to you, either through a company or external program. Stress the need to update the skills that will be necessary in the next few years.
- Since all companies are competing for available talent, find out what the marketplace is looking for in your field. Are you ahead or behind the talent pool in your expertise? Compare the prospects you are finding in the marketplace with the opportunities you see within your company.
- Consider changing industries if your skills are transferable. Some industries have a ratio of 3 job openings for every professional applying. Other industries have the reverse ratio, with multiple experienced employees for every job available. A shift to a different industry can accelerate your career and promotional opportunities.
- Jobs that are in demand with a small supply of talent are paid more, have a faster-track to promotion and a wider opportunity to your choice of employer
- Be flexible in your work patterns. Be available for positions working 100% remotely, to those jobs that are 100% office only, and any other combinations in between. Your adaptability can mean the difference between being a top candidate or not.
- Technology has changed and advanced in the past 18 months. Make sure you are caught up with those changes. One of the first thing a hiring manager will check out is your computer and technical skills to fill an open position. Those candidates that are behind the required skills are the first to be dropped from consideration.
Now is a great time to accelerate your career, get new skills and experiences, or even secure a promotion. The marketplace is open for business. The demand for talent provides opportunities for those who are prepared.
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