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How to Be Relevant in Today’s Workplace

Few would argue that job functions have changed rapidly in the past several years. New technologies (like social media) have disrupted the marketing discipline. The push to do more with less has caused companies to merge job functions. The list of changes are seemingly endless.

Whether you’re a new college graduate, in mid-career, or even planning to leave the workforce in the next 5-10 years, you probably need to brush up your skill set in order to keep pace with the demands of your employer or potential employer.

A lot of people expect their companies to provide the training they think they need. While employer-provided training is useful, it’s only part of the story. According to Halelly Azulay, author of Employee Development on A Shoestring and founder of TalentGrow LLC, only 10% of professional training happens in the workplace. Another 20% comes from relationships and feedback, and the remaining 70% is on-the-job experience.

Hallely Auzlay

The employee-employer relationship goes two ways. Instead of looking to one’s employer to provide training, employees also have a responsibility to expand and hone their skill sets. After all, if the job requirements change dramatically (and in some fields they have), you must learn what’s required for the job function or risk no longer being the best person for the job.

As a columnist for Modern DC Business, I’ve gone to a lot of networking events over the past three years—which means I’ve overheard a lot of conversations. You might be surprised by how many people who are either out of work or struggling in their jobs overlook their responsibility to keep pace with their profession. A number of marketers have blatantly claimed they have no interest in social media. With that attitude, it’s no wonder they can’t find employment.

So, what can you do, then?

Azulay shared some of the secrets to Employee Development on A Shoestring at the Positive Business DC Meetup last night, and it’s not what you might think. If you’re an employer or manager, her insight could help you foster a dynamic, engaged, relevant workforce without breaking the bank. If you’re a job seeker or currently employed, her insight can help you not only stay at the top of your game or get a job, it can help you climb the corporate ladder.

Originally, I had planned to provide some of the examples and exercises Azulay had Positive Business DC members work through last night. But, on second thought, if you’re interested, I urge you to check out her book. And, if you’re really intrigued, there’s a 1½ day workshop March 13-14. Based on what I saw last night, the workshop will be killer. And, for those of you who are counting, the workshop falls within the 10% noted above.

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Marcia Moran‘s insight:

There are endless ways to improve performance and productivity, and they start with caring enough to deliberately deepen employees’ strengths.

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