differentiating yourself as a seasoned, senior professional

imageIf you are a senior professional looking for a role change in today’s market, you are likely to face tough competition not only from your peers, but also from ambitious younger professionals who are likely to cost companies far lesser. But equally important, you are likely to find that the market dynamics have changed dramatically over the last few years – with increasing competition, companies are being forced to cut costs, and one of the ways they are doing this is by moving towards virtual collaboration and remote professional services. On the plus side, more companies are seeing the value of working with multi-generational workforces - if you are willing to be flexible and transition to a different work dynamic, this can work to your advantage. Here’s how you can stay competitive as a seasoned professional and distinguish yourself from other applicants. 

Stay on the cutting edge of innovation in your domain 

Every field is evolving faster than even before; keeping pace with developments in your field is an imperative while looking to further your career or grow in your present job. Staying current is easier now with MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) available in every field. Online courses are available in small, easy-to-learn modules, through apps which are great for learning on the go. Coursera eDX, Udemy and other online course providers offer excellent courses on the latest technologies and topics. These courses give you access to best-in-class content from top universities across the work. There are also many leadership development courses from prestigious, top-notch institutes that you can consider. These are often delivered in collaboration with large organizations and add weight to your resume and help you upskill to stay abreast of the latest developments.  Developing professional expertise can give you an edge in your job search.

Find a niche within your domain 

You might want to try and move into a consulting position in your current industry and or you could think of marketing your skills to a different industry. If you are a finance professional, explore the possibility of consulting with a nonprofit, a startup, or other organizations that need finance experts but cannot afford to employ people on a full-time basis. Finding a niche will provide a channel to use your knowledge, your expertise will be genuinely appreciated, and you will find the work professionally very satisfying. Pro-bono consulting with needy organizations is an excellent way to position your skills and grow your network, while giving back to society. 

Consider consulting or freelance positions image

Increasingly we are seeing that cost is becoming a driving force for potential employers; you can stay competitive by contracting out your services alongside or instead of a full-time job. Hiring you as a consultant offers the employer many cost benefits while leveraging your experience; And it offers you the opportunity to work across industries and sectors, putting to use your experience, and gives you greater control over your schedule and time. Consulting is also a good way to network and increase your visibility and net worth in the industry. 

Peer Networks 

Joining and staying in peer networks is a great way to counter professional isolation and loneliness at work, learn from interactions and further your career goals. Peer networks also help you uncover latent opportunities in the job market. You can build your brand in your peer network by contributing thought leader pieces to professional journals, online digital platforms and mainstream media. You could also leverage your network to stay informed on professional seminars and workshops, speak on expert panels, and find consulting and teaching opportunities. 

Volunteering opportunities

 Volunteering for a social cause is very satisfying. It also gives you the opportunity to meet people, make new friends and expand your professional and social network. You can volunteer at a school or you can give spare time for a non-profit by helping them with complex office work. Volunteering provides a sense of purpose, but also helps in self-discovery, you may discover skills and strengths that you didn’t know you had. 

In addition to following the tips above, it is essential for seasoned and inexperienced professionals alike to embrace change and accept the reality of being part of a multi-generational, remote workforce that will require you to constantly upskill, reskill and adapt to newer ways of working with peers who may be less experienced than you are. A flexible working style that is based on agility and constant learning is the key to career growth.