Every job has its specific requirements. However, some employer’s lookout for certain skills when hiring and they are known as soft skills or experiences. Soft skills are personal attributes that can help you become successful in your career and personal life while experiences highlight your career trajectory and answers the question of ‘can you perform adequately in this role’? Recent statistics have shown that employers value these skills and experiences while hiring any candidate because they serve as a reflection of how important and valuable such candidate is and could be to the organization. However, recent statistics have also shown that employers want people with great qualifications as well as work experience. These demands can make it hard for new graduates, wondering if it is better to get work experience or continue getting numerous degrees or qualifications.
With more University degrees and qualifications than ever before, is the only way to get your foot on the career ladder to have a list of career and work experiences? A degree isn’t just about getting a job or a career. Many University graduates will say it develops them intellectually, socially and personally; with many more added benefits. The great debate between qualification and experience has been somewhat put to an end by individuals who understand that both are needed for you to succeed in your career. For every opportunity out there, you should know that there are several applicants who are vying for the same position with you. It is also important to note that while you all are struggling to get the same job opportunity, the employer would only pick the best and qualified candidate. The question is, are you qualified? If yes, how do you intend to stand out from the crowd? Let us talk about standing out. It is one of the easiest yet most difficult job, however, you have just one job to do; POSITION YOURSELF WISELY AND SELL YOURSELF EFFECTIVELY. Positioning yourself to be seen and selling your abilities is synonymous with fighting for yourself and I hope you are ready for the fight!
KNOW YOUR UNIQUE SELLING POINT (USP)
For an effective career positioning, it is important to know what makes you stand out from the crowd and use it to your advantage. Your USP basically lists out what you intend to bring to the table that is different and unique. This also serves as your own marketing strategy that informs your potential employer your personal abilities and capabilities which is superior to others. Once you are aware of this and you are sure you can offer something no one else has, then you are ready for your employers. Take a step back and ask yourself who you are, what you want and why you need a career upgrade? As an individual, I would usually advise people to imagine their ideal and preferred role and match their skills and experiences to that role. Let me explain further. If you are looking to get your dream job and are stuck as to how to position yourself, you can start by outlining what the job entails and asking yourself if you have the required skills necessary to get the job. Carrying out an honest assessment will help you see your strengths and weaknesses.
INVEST IN YOURSELF
It is often said that the return on personal and career investment is much greater than any financial commitment you could ever make. Investing in your career is like having a lifeguard and sailing through the ocean knowing that you are protected if anything goes wrong. From protecting yourself from the effects of unemployment to the joy that comes from personal growth and development, it is safe to say that the returns are quite huge. For you to position yourself wisely for your dream job, you would have to pay a price. Investing in yourself and career gives you an edge over others and elevates your chances of success. If you were a CEO of a multinational and you had to employ a candidate who has several qualifications and certifications in his chosen career path and the other candidate who has just one or two qualifications with little or no job experience, who would you pick?
You can invest in yourself by taking that professional course, going for that internship offer, volunteering at that company, reading that book that aligns with your field! You can never go wrong by investing in yourself as it prepares you adequately for your next career path.
NETWORK TO FIND THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES
Now that you know your USP and have done an honest self-assessment, then the next step is for you to showcase your abilities and tell people who can fast track your capabilities. Networking is also a part of career positioning and it speeds up the process for you. It is simply sharing with others what you can do for your prospective business partners, employers, clients or even mentors. The importance of career networking is very crucial step to changing your perspective. I know that networking is not at the top of your to-do list, however it is paramount for achieving career success. People often say that the most connected people are usually the most successful. I agree. Do you want to increase your visibility and get that dream job, position yourself through NETWORKING? Create an online presence, go for social and career events, make contacts while on the plan, pitch yourself to companies.