In our age of rapid change, highly competitive job markets, business restructuring, and a project-based economy, there are few guarantees in the workplace. Every year thousands of employees find themselves forced to find new jobs; many in unfamiliar fields. Too often, many are unprepared to make the necessary changes. So – The question is this: How do you increase your value in the marketplace? Answer: The same way you increase the value of your financial assets: by investments.
Although there are many substantive principles – I wanted to share the following four principles that will not only increase your marketplace value, they will enrich your life.
1. Hone Your Communication Skills
Study after study has shown that one of the most important factors in career advancement and professional success is your communication skills; verbal , non-verbal, and writing.
During my 25 year corporate career, I also observed that for the most part – the people who got ahead were those who don’t shrink from the opportunity to convey their thoughts and ideas.
The need for good communication skills isn’t limited to the times when you are asked to give a formal speech to a large audience. Good communication skills is an essential part of sales presentations, training programs, the presentations of research findings, and even running company meetings. Yes – good communication and speaking skills are needed in virtually every aspect of your personal and professional life.
Good communication skills not only increases your value to your employer, it also also raises your visibility within your community. Given the volatility of today’s job market, increasing your visibility through good communication skills is one of the best forms of employment security. Just think – the total avoidance of honing our speaking skills is a luxury many of us no longer have. We just cannot be successful if we cannot verbally connect with others.
2. Read Extensively
I don’t know who first said this but I have found it to be true – “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Reading makes your mind stronger, faster, and keener. It quickens your responses to new information, and deepens your understanding of both current events and human nature.
I make it a practice to read a wide variety of non- fiction works, weekly, to keep abreast of new developments and trends. I challenge you to do the same.
3. Nurture Your Network
Did you know that all of us are only two contacts away from another person? In other words, if you picked up a phone book and selected the name of someone at random, you would know somebody who knows that person! Given that fact, imagine how powerful networking can be!
The basics of networking include being friendly to those you meet, researching the background of the people you wish to know, (you can find almost anything on the internet these days), and nurturing your relationships. Persistent, consistent networking will fuel your professional success and dramatically increase your opportunities.
4. Mind Your Manners
One of the most overlooked but important ways to boost your professional success is to learn and observe proper etiquette.
Good manners are so important in the corporate world that many businesses have internal and external generated etiquette classes for their employees; especially those with sells personnel. It goes without saying – By learning and observing the basics of etiquette, you will have a competitive advantage over many others.