Developing Your Marketability Without Breaking the Bank

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When I was between jobs last summer, it would have been so easy for me to slack off and feel sorry for myself. Instead, I worked on my marketability: I attended conferences, networked, and did as much as I could to make myself more employable.

If you have a job, check with HR to see if you’re eligible for any upcoming training sessions. My years of delaying CPR certification paid off when my job offered training at no cost to me! I also found out about an online database I have access to with modules outlining many facets of business (and many other things, I’m sure), which will be good for me to peruse before I make a decision about going back to school. This even goes for a part-time job: I had the opportunity to get that CPR certification during the side gig I had on my “off-season,” but never got around to it.  I was given the opportunity again once I got here, but if I had it to do over again I would absolutely have taken advantage the first chance I got!

Take advantage of as many free conferences or training sessions as you can, whether it’s an online course from Coursera or something offered from a professional organization you belong to or aspire to belong to. Look around your community for talks or meetings. Be sure and network while you are participating – there’s no better way to leverage your new experience than by making sure people know you were there!

The library is also a wealth of helpful information and resources, and it all comes free of charge. Many libraries now also offer books to be checked out virtually via Overdrive or other e-book roviders. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you also have access to check out thousands of books free of charge with your membership. There are also free books if you have an iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or other tablet, and you can download a free Kindle app to read.

When all else fails (or you are too lazy to get to the library,) there’s always Google. There’s probably not a week that goes by that I don’t find myself searching for a Photoshop tutorial on some little nuance that I’d never picked up on. If you’re worried about not having the Adobe suite, the Pixlr online advanced editing tool is wildly similar to Photoshop. (I actually used it the other day when I didn’t want to wait for PS to load) and graphic design is a great thing to have on your resume.

What other resources do you use to make yourself more marketable?