The most important advice most successful entrepreneurs will give you  is probably to start your own business, however small it is or however inexperienced you are. You can never be prepared enough to create something new or start a new project that could be the next big thing.

Nobody plans to create the biggest company in a single industry but hard work, persistence and passion keeps entrepreneurs working on their dreams until something great happens. But not everybody can start a business now. Some prefer to get experience, other would rather study and yet others want to work for insanely great startups and brands. To stay employable in the next five or ten years, it’s a must that you improve yourself to face the changing nature of business year in, year out. This is how!

1. Improve and upgrade your most vital asset: YOU

The most important thing you can do to enhance your earning potential and achieve a genuine job security is to improve and upgrade your most vital asset: Yourself.

According to James Reed and and Paul G Stoltz, authors of Put Your Mindset To Work, the most effective way to do that is to calculate whether you are a “net gain” or a “net loss” for your employer — then turn yourself into a bankable “return”. Once you are a net gain to your employer, you become one of the company’s greatest assets and come 2020, you will still be a “bankable return”.

2.  Make yourself invaluable for the growth of the business

The set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that make you more likely to secure and be successful in your chosen field of work keeps changing with time. The reality is that somebody else could take over your job in the next five or ten years not because he or she is better than you but because the skills presented to your employer makes them in invaluable for the growth of the business the present time.

Are you indispensable now? Will you still be indispensable in 2020. What can you do to stay relevant now and in the future?

Your most valued skill now may not very relevant to your employer in the next ten years. Marketers who are still investing company budget in old tricks are loosing out and are not seeing the same results. They never thought social media marketing would be on the budget sheet today. In the same way you will never know what could be in high demand in the near five years. Invest some time in educating yourself about your industry and stay relevant even as you contribute to the growth of your business.

3. Work on your ROI — Return On Individual!

In as much as skills are becoming obsolete more quickly now than ever before,  there are some timeless qualities that you can predict every employer will need. Start, say Reed and Stoltz, by working out your ROI — Return On Individual. That means start comparing everything you add to and detract from your company to determine how much you really contribute — then make sure you get a good return on your efforts.

4. Present and defend your growth ideas to your employer

Shut out out distractions today and focus on presenting your ideas to your employer when the need arise. Make a lasting impression about what you can do today, tomorrow and in the next five or ten years. Start by focusing on the tasks that make your employers the most money and always think about your personal bottom line-doing your job in the most effective way possible. Think about how things can be improve, how you can work better, what resources can be used effectively and make a recommendation whenever you think something needs to be improved.

5. Think about how you intentionally and unintentionally affect others

Start thinking about how you intentionally and unintentionally affect others in the workplace now. Think about your tone, approach, disposition and energy when communicating with your colleagues. Encourage people to join conversations and make people feel useful. Ensure your colleagues feel valued by you: have uninterrupted conversations, in-depth where necessary, maintain eye contact to assure them you are listening.

6. For Marketers, be content ready!

Marketing keeps evolving and your business needs to adopt to the changing phase of marketing. For marketers to be employable in 2020, they need to be constantly upgrading their skills. You should be able to adopt the times and improve on your skills.

According to Gerd Leonhard, an author, strategic advisor, CEO of TheFuturesAgency, and someone whom The Wall Street Journal calls “one of the leading media-futurists in the world.”–hbr

By 2020, most interruptive marketing will be gone. Instead, marketing will be personalized, customized, and adapted to what I have expressed as my wishes or opt-ins — which essentially means that advertising becomes content. Customers will be forming relationships with brands that are built on trust, and if a company breaks that trust, it will be very quickly viral and very quickly over. The idea of having a separate marketing department is going to vanish. In the future, the “reason to buy” will be socially motivated. If a product is great and everybody loves it, it will sell.

7. Be Insanely Social

It’s about time you get insanely social. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ are changing business as we know it. These sites are now great for job prospecting, networking and building up relationships with peers, existing customers and prospective customers alike. You can start by reading on how social sites impact business and how businesses are leveraging social sites for business.

Are you confident in your skills now?

If you feel confident in your skills and you are self aware about what you can offer employers, then you will feel less at the mercy of external factors. Make a conscious effort today to be agile and adapt the trends of your industry to stay employable in the near future. Don’t be a victim of the  changing phase of business, you can and should determine your level of skills today and tomorrow.

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