The Four Early Warning Signs of Career Obsolescence

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Four Early Warning Signs of Career Obsolescence

In today’s job market change is perhaps the only constant. Corporations split and merge. Technologies gain prominence, plateau, and are replaced. Skills that were in demand yesterday are niche skills today. Learning new skills or updating old ones is essential for career growth. It could even be essential to keep a career. How do you know it's time to seek new training? Here are some questions to help you out.

You Don’t Know Your Strengths

What do you do well? How does it relate to your job, or to your company’s mission? Look at what happens on a day-to-day basis at work. What tasks do you enjoy? These are probably strengths. What tasks are commonly given to you whether you enjoy them or not? They may be strengths. What tasks can you perform, even though you may not like them?

Areas you already perform well work to make sure that you improve, not stagnate. Areas you are often assigned need to be continually developed in order to enable you give the best performance possible. Jobs you don't like may involve skills you lack or aren't strong in, and developing these skills will make you more well-rounded and versatile. Failure to enhance your strengths or develop new ones can be perceived as indication of lack of initiative or ambition, and may cause an employer to pass you over for promotions and awards.

You React from Habit

Do you treat each task the same way you reacted to the task before it? Or do you treat each task as a chance to show how well you can do? Like an actor who "phones in" his performance, an employee without enthusiasm for the job is less likely to be looked at for promotions. Training in areas that support your job gives new perspective and appreciation for the rewards and challenges co-workers face.

Become Isolated

Be part of the company. You don't have to be the life of the party, but get to know the people you work with. Don't just know your peers; know the people above and below you in the corporate hierarchy. It's easy to get caught up in work and not spend time building relationships, but it's the relationships that help people remember what a good job you do. Possessing both people skills and job skills makes you a better candidate for promotion. Having excellent job skills without demonstrating people skills is often not enough to keep employers from seeking more personable candidate to fill your position.

You Lack Self-confidence

Do you feel others are better qualified or more able than you? Are you afraid of failing? A lot of people are. But if you allow that to slow or to stop you too often it will stunt your career. It is imperative that you have an honest evaluation of your skill and ability. Get evaluated, get trained, and get confident. Confidence is noticed, and it makes the boss feel better. If you don't think you can do the job, the boss has no reason to think you can. Train for the skills you need and show your boss that not only can you do the job, you know it.

About the author:
Ryan Devereux writes for where you can be assured your career never becomes obsolete.

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