Written by Dave Cullen
The term ‘Employability’ has only recently entered the vernacular. Its origin is largely attributed to our contemporary society’s changing employment culture, specifically the end of lifetime job security and the current economic uncertainty. In recent years there has been a growing trend towards more fixed term contract-based roles with many employers adopting a cautious approach to new hires, particularly in emerging sectors. Many of the roles Cpl currently recruits for didn’t exist 10 years ago with jobs in such areas as the IT space, generating entirely new forms of employment.
The success and longevity of one’s career is largely based on their ability to adapt to the changing dynamics of the market. A Wikipedia definition of the word ‘Employability’ describes it as the following: “The ability to obtain new employment if required, i.e. to be independent in the labour market by being willing and able to manage their own employment transitions between and within organisations.” This means that Employability is not just about a jobseeker’s ability to procure employment through up-skilling and reinvention but also an existing employee’s continued professional development and training.
Those currently active in the labour market must demonstrate their continued commitment to meet the ever changing needs of the business. An example of this can be represented in the way in which employees are expected to function more and more as brand ambassadors. Like it or not, social media pervades every aspect of our online lives, the digitally interconnected age has blurred the lines between work and home. People are spending more and more of their lives interacting with each other in the Cloud. Businesses need to become more cognisant of the fact that their workforce represent an enormous untapped resource when it comes to how they can be represented through the personal and professional social networks they engage in. Likewise CEOs now expect their CTOs to sell them critical IT solutions to the business rather than function purely in a technical capacity as they have traditionally.
Everyone across the business is a sales person, it might sound clichéd but it’s true. Keeping up with trends in technology allows employees to recognise how customers engage with your business online or discover new growth markets and anticipate potential new products and services. This can only be achieved through a free market of ideas, which social media and the ubiquity of technology has provided us. Amidst an economic backdrop of doubt and confusion, employers can ill-afford to ignore the suggestions of its most precious resource – its people, particularly when technology continues to evolve, no chances can be taken.
If Employability means anything other than a new Internet buzzword, it should mean that to obtain and retain employment we must be willing to recognise the skills and knowledge we lack and adapt as the market demands. Jobseekers who remain close to the jobs market through retraining, on and off-line networking, internships and volunteering, will significantly increase their chances of finding employment. However the challenge doesn’t stop there. Once employed, career advancement is predicated on our versatility and right now technology is driving innovation and change. Keeping up-to-date and continuously improving your knowledge and skillsets will develop and nurture your Employability.