Did you know that the value of your skills may change over time? When you are employed, it is easy to lose track of how marketable you are to the world outside. The world is always valuing goods, products, services and even people. You need to be aware of your value so that you don’t stagnate or become complacent. There are three questions you can use to guide you on how to prove your marketability:
Leads on job openings: Are you attracting unsolicited leads on job openings and opportunities?
This could be a determining factor when considering if “you still got it”. Do you get calls from recruiters, professional colleagues or your referees without even asking? If there aren’t any, then it is possible that either people do not know you or they do not think about you even if they know who you are. This calls for you to take every opportunity you get to tell people about who you are professionally. Your skills, expertise or even professional character such as honesty in conversation or maturity will definitely leave a mark on people. This may sound easy but in reality it is not. All in all, what does it hurt to let a stranger know that you value accountability and you have a check list of your daily finances? Go ahead and take chances in that taxi or social event.
Connection: Are you well-connected?
This is a tricky question you will have to ask yourself. It is easy for you to think that this means that your connections have a direct impact on your career success. It’s an argument you could have but unfortunately other than your potential and skills, the people you know will help you get a door opened but the rest is up to you. So, do you know the right people in your circles? You may have met various people in your previous work places but did you know them beyond the first name basis. Other than that, when working in a company, you are tempted to gain relations just with your colleagues but I am sure there were outside interactions you had. In your email interactions, marketing interactions, you must have met people. Don’t take these for granted, they could be that connection when you need it.
Net Pay: Are you paid at or above the market value?
This basically seeks to understand if you are paid like you deserve. Are you overpaid or underpaid. The former definitely shows that you are valued by your employer and there is potential in you. However, the later should be a cause of concern for you. In the Ugandan context, it might get tricky to get aware of the employment laws and regulations as these are rarely followed by companies. This is sad but is unfortunately a true reality we are faced with but doesn’t keep us from trying to get the knowledge of what you are supposed to be paid for the skills and effort you put in your career. You can get to find out through a friend in Human resource who might have the access to salary surveys or a recruitment firm. You will get a feel of what people with your skills, expertise and experience earn. It must however be noted that salaries are subjective to conditions of a company; geography, economic conditions and other factors. Sites like PayScale.com could be helpful in determining if you are paid right for the position you have.
Remember that in order to ask yourself these questions, you don’t have to be looking for a job. These questions help you keep up to speed with the job market. You have to become the master of your own career game. Most people ignore career management, but it is real. So take the time out and protect your market value should you ever need or want to make a move in your career.