Continuing the search
I think freelancers can appreciate what there is to be gained by a continual search of job listings, because quite frankly we’re always looking for the next gig! Whether that search is daily, weekly or even monthly it keeps us in the arena so-to-speak. You keep up on what’s out there and more importantly you see firsthand what the latest trends and skills are.
This train-of-thought is being promoted and embraced by more than just the freelance community.
In a recent Lifehacker article, personal finance writer David Carlson suggests basically the same thing: Periodically searching job postings to learn which skills are in demand.
Keep moving, keep learning
Carlson says, “Regularly looking at job openings can help you build the skills and experience you need in advance.” Certainly if you are planning on a career transition this is smart maneuvering on your part. But in the bigger scheme of things, this mindset is useful even if you like your job.
Learning new skills only adds value to one’s position, which puts you at an advantage when it comes time to ask for a raise or negotiate a promotion.
The benefit of periodic job searching can be found in the “Experience Needed” or “Skills Desired” portion of the job announcement. It’s self-explanatory but it’s easy to cross-check those skills with your own. And now the easy part: you can do something about it. Not up to speed on HTML codes? Take a class! Project management skills lacking? Go back to school! Or volunteer or anything that excites you that will get your own skill level back on par.
The value line
A fascinating by-product of increasing your skill set is referred to as the Value Line. Lifehacker explains that “For every skill that you could possibly have in life, there is a level of skill for which people will pay you. Below that, there’s a level of skill where you pay others to do these things”.
The people that make money in those situations are above the value line. The people that spend money are below the value line.
What’s your value line?
That’s not for me to say, but I can tell you that keeping an eye on the job market tunes you in to what companies are paying for
Just remember: The more you know, the more you grow.