How to remain employable in a volatile economy

Elite CV's Lerato Mabiletsa says there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

There’s a lot of uncertainty on how the economy will transform after we get past the current pandemic, but it is extremely unlikely that things will just go back to exactly the way they were before. The workplace is most likely to change, and with it, the skills that are required to remain relevant and employable.

We don’t know what the economy will look like in the foreseeable future, but what we do know is that it is constantly changing, which then begs the question: “What do we do to ensure we remain employable regardless of how much things change?” I guess the more relevant question is “What does employable really mean?”

We do not have all the answers because we don’t know what the future holds, but the best thing to do is to become proactive because once the change has taken place, you may find yourself unemployable if you are unable to adapt. 

Technology is and will continue to transform the way we do things, which is the reason why we constantly have to identify new techniques to ensure that we remain marketable by evaluating our skills and exploring different approaches to ensure that we are prepared for whatever comes next.

Commercial awareness, great work ethic, transferable skills, personal/career branding and experience are all key components of employability.

It is very important to understand your value in the marketplace and do what you can to constantly ensure you remain relevant and are equipped with competencies that will help you stay ahead of the curve. Practical things you can do to remain employable include: maintaining comprehensive knowledge and understanding of what employers expect in regards to performance, attitude, and behaviour; identifying and developing strategies that will help you obtain skills, experiences, and knowledge, that will contribute to your future employability; reflecting on the learning and experiences you have gained and utilizing them to add value in current and future positions; recognizing that the responsibility for your personal development is on you and not the company you work for, and then find new ways to grow your skills, and stepping out of your comfort zone and doing what is needed to advance your competencies.

Most people’s natural desire is to progress and improve professionally to achieve established personal development goals, and with this comes the responsibility to constantly learn from new situations and challenges, to build existing skills and attributes while developing new ones.

It is then quite clear that remaining employable is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to be aware of how the different economical changes affect various sectors, workplace environments, as well as corporate stability. Identify possible future expectations and do what you can to cater to them while there is still time, then rethink and align your value proposition accordingly.

Take some time and reflect, to determine whether or not you are employable, and if you are not, take action without delay.