From education to employment

Continuous learning is crucial to staying competitive in the job market

books and tablet on table

Career path steps are getting shorter, and employees should take care to look after their market value through lifewide learning, advises Jouko Pitkänen at Aalto University Executive Education.

In addition to his position as a Senior Partner at JFP Executive Search, Pitkänen is a Visiting Lecturer at Aalto EE. He offers the following tips to executive participants in his lectures.

According to Pitkänen, job applicants and those looking to switch positions should avoid simply listing their previous positions and tasks. Instead, they should focus on showcasing previous achievements which demonstrate the value of their experiences.

He also recommends getting specific about the details. While most applicants can explain their accomplishments on a general level – sales growths, etc. – it is important to understand why this happened, as this information helps employers evaluate whether a candidate is fit to tackle future challenges.

Pitkänen suggests applicants should write down 6-10 success stories from their careers. This will provide practical examples which can boost your professional self-esteem, and also begins to outline your competencies.

Once applicants have a clearer idea of their skills and competencies, these should not be allowed to stagnate, Pitkänen warns. 

“The stronger the focus on technology, the less time is spent in the role. Companies might train employees’ basic skills, but you must supplement this yourself, but participating in courses, listening to podcasts – in short, ensuring you are always learning and developing. In this way, workers can ensure they maintain their market value,” says Pitkänen. 

Employment and entrepreneurship now exist side-by-side, meaning opportunities to transition horizontally between roles are increasing. This, Pitkänen observes, has an impact on career planning, making resilience an integral quality in successful job applicants at all levels. 

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