If you are in your 40s, have been in the same company for a number of years and have been progressing painfully up the hierarchy, you are under threat of becoming irrelevant and probably shunted aside to make way for younger and fresher talent.
Those who work in government-owned enterprises know that their jobs are relatively safe – unless they commit some misdemeanour or have grossly violated some rules. Incompetence is rarely punished in the public sector. So long as you do the bare minimum and stick to the rules, there is no way that you can lose your job.
However, those who work in the private sector have no such guarantees and their tenure, promotions and growth in the company is totally related to performance. In many companies, just doing your job is not enough – employers want you to do something beyond the call of duty. They want you to make an extra effort and bring in fresh perspective to your job. The responsibility of what and how is left to you.
This is why it is so necessary that you need to constantly upgrade your skills, refresh them and learn new skills. There are companies, which run skilling programs and sometimes it is mandated by the management that you have to compulsorily attend these programs.
Majority of the companies however, do not bother about imparting skills and leave it entirely to employees to undertake extra courses. Or, they may have programs only for senior employees and those whom they select for certain strategic roles. So what do junior and other categories of employees do? How do they ensure that they are not losing out on increments and promotions because they have nothing extra to show?
India is a nation of predominantly young people and the proportion of people below the age of 35 outstrips other age brackets. If you do not want to see your job going to someone younger than you, then now is the time to take corrective measures.
When you decide to upgrade your skills, there are a couple of things that you need to consider – whether you intend to use those skills in your existing organisation or you have some other role somewhere else which you are eyeing. So have a specific role or job function in mind and upgrade your skills accordingly. Its no use doing something in customer relationship management and finding that your company has nothing to offer you in that line.
Be sure that the place where you are enrolling to upgrade your skill is reputed and giving you your money’s worth. Education just for the sake of it or for sexing up your resume is not a sensible decision.
Next, ask yourself whether your skill is saleable. That is, is there is a demand for it? Don’t get taken in by promos advertising some impressive sounding courses that promise you ‘new age; skills. The skills you plan to acquire have to be appropriate to the age we are in right now.
So get skilled and get your career vrooming again!