4 things you can do right now to be more employable
So, let’s start on the sour and rather devastating note that the number of unemployed Australians peaked at over 1 million this year*. Thanks COVID.
The good news is there have been some promising decreases* in that number. The bad news is, there's still a lot of people looking for work, including the already employed looking to be… differently employed.
And that means the whole, ‘getting a new job thing’ probably seems harder now than ever before. That’s why we are sharing four ways you can make yourself more employable.
1. Be human
When you first watched The Terminator (1984), did you think: ‘cool action movie!’ or ‘that’s a grim warning of an inevitable robot takeover’? The data says, at least half of Australia thought the latter – at least a little bit.
In a national survey, Dr Sean Gallagher, Director of Swinburne’s Centre for the New Workforce, found that more than half of Australians worry how technology will affect their jobs.
And, about the same number believe their current skillset won’t last five years, as digital technology is already changing or affecting many jobs.
So how do you solve a problem like this? According to Dr Gallagher, the answer is soft skills: “Workers should focus on improving social competencies and qualities such as emotional intelligence, empathy, entrepreneurial skills, leadership, risk-taking ability, creativity, ideation, collaboration and resilience.”
So, how does this help me? To practise empathy, do I watch The Terminator and try to cry like Arnie smiles? There are worse ways to fill a Sunday – but our advice for you is to just lean into being a person.
2. Raise your hand
Whether it’s to volunteer or take on some extra responsibility in your current job, putting your hand up is a great way to load up your CV.
Become the impossible-situation-specialist in your office by identifying and tackling a tough issue no one else has been able to fix. And brand yourself as a problem solver. You know, use your ‘very special set of skills’ like it’s 2008 and you’re Liam Neeson in Taken.
If that’s not your thing and you’re more into talking and music, then try volunteering in community radio. Or, if you have a particular passion, such as our changing climate, then set up a workplace committee to help your company become carbon neutral.
When you raise your hand, it shows employers that you have initiative and that you can commit to the things you care about. You’ll also learn new skills and meet new people along the way (yes, it can also help you network).
It might even help you shape your career trajectory and discover what we call: Professional Purpose.
3. Release your inner creative
Remember the AI in point one…? Well, creativity is kind of their kryptonite and it’s your point of difference in a world where tech is woven into everything we do (it’s definitely woven into everything we do at Swinburne).
Everyone has creativity, but not everyone knows how to recognise and wield it.
So how do you draw it out? Quite literally, you could do it with a pencil or a paintbrush, or just as a spectator in some experimental theatre. Creativity is a muscle, you have to use it or you’ll lose it.
Immersing yourself in worlds that are different from yours has enormous benefits. It gets you out of your modus operandi. And, if that sounds too fluffy, exercise and meditation are said to boost creativity as well.
Now, all you need to do is put it into practice. Employers want to know that you can do things others can’t, so absorb what everyone else is doing and pivot, flip it, or spin it into something new.
4. Find your dream course
At Swinburne University of Technology, it’s kind of our job to make you more employable. We do it by intertwining your education and our research with tech, innovation, and industry. It’s how we prepare you for the ever-evolving workforce.
We do things first, like our Master of Supply Chain Innovation and Master of Financial Technologies, which are both co-created with industry. And, in 2020 we climbed 100 places in the Academic Ranking of World Universities to sit at 269.
So, if you’re looking to make yourself more employable – we're set up to make it happen.
We have a course for you no matter your level of study from short courses, micro-units, certificates and diplomas, to degrees and doubles, and master and PhD programs.
Wherever you are in life, no matter your area of interest, we can help you find a course that can take you where you want to go.*abs.gov.au, labour force Australia, latest release.
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