If you are one of the many people looking to make a career change or find something new within your current field of work, you will most likely find yourself questioning a lot about yourself and the job market. That is not a bad thing, it is actually a great course of action to take, especially when wondering how employable you are. In a period of time (such as now) where there is a quickly changing job market, a noticeable “skills gap” and a changing workforce, it can be easy to wonder about employability; if and where you are needed.
Think about supply and demand. What you have to offer, and how much an employer needs you, is what it comes down to. Whenever you are thinking about making changes in your career, it is important to develop a refined understanding of your personal ability and aspirations, as well as the job market. Without first understanding the type of employee you are, the skills you possess and how you want to apply them to your career, it will be difficult to assess how employable you are. Possessing confidence in your abilities is strength that is needed for success in your career, but not having a realistic view of your abilities can hold you back. Effective self-evaluation can prevent that.
This begins with developing an understanding of who you are and an understanding of what you want to do followed by your ability to do it. You are the one who defines your career. The choices you make will be affected by your personal aspirations and a solid understanding of these will allow for better choices to be made. A broad range of interests/aspirations will be more likely to present greater opportunity to be employed as long as the required skills are there. Over time, some of these things will change, but knowing what makes you tick, what you are good at, the environments you like to be in and the people you like to surround yourself with, that will go a long way in helping you to develop in a career aligned with your goals.
Ask yourself a few introspective questions like the following, to help establish the backings of a career identity:
- What do you want to fix in the world?
- What topics are you drawn to when you read or watch the news?
- What kind of conversations get you excited?
- What about the world makes you mad?
- What about the world makes you happy?
When you ask these questions, but start applying “Why”, instead of “What”, you can find common relationships that you can apply within your career and broaden your scope of employment opportunities according to your interests.
The exact job title of what you aspire for is not important, it may not be currently accessible to you or it may not even exist. However, the ability to define your aspirations through knowledge of yourself and the job market you are in, makes it more likely for you to find something that is properly aligned with your ability to be employed. However, there needs to be reasonable expectations put into place. Just because a job sounds good and is aligned with your personal aspirations, there is no guarantee you are employable.
Where is your value as an employee? Do you have the skills necessary for the job? It is necessary to understand your capabilities as an employee and how you can apply them towards the position:
When evaluating your employability, self-assessment of the skills that you currently have requires honesty and validation. Beyond a labeled skills set; dig in and analyze the skills you possess, how you have used them, how they can be improved, and what you are missing (what is needed to work in the job market, that you do not have).
- How were the skills used?
- What responsibilities required you to use them?
- What were the outcomes?
- Were the outcomes successful or were targets met/surpassed?
Once you have evaluated both your personal aspirations and your existing skillset you can better define your employability. Apply your full assessment of yourself to what the company requires and is offering regarding a particular job. Always think about what you are trying to do and where you are selling yourself before attempting to make a change in your career. Is what you possess going to provide a solution to a pain point of the company? How badly does that company need you to be the person who to address it?
Knowing how employable you are will help determine the trajectory of your career path as it will help you make informed choices in where you are searching for jobs and what types of jobs you are more prone to getting when you apply.