published Sunday, May 19th, 2013

How to be in Demand Throughout a Career

From January 2010 to February 2013, the average unemployment rate was 8.8 percent, a stark contrast to the average of 5.3 percent from January 2003 to December 2006. Though the unemployment rate — currently at its lowest point since 2009 — has begun to improve, it is a slow recovery.

Despite the competitive employment outlook, certain individuals seem to remain employed no matter how dismal the job climate. These professionals are the first to receive offers when companies are in acquisition mode and are rarely laid off during lean times. They possess the skills that keep them in demand.

Career expert Bill van Steenis, author of “In-Demand: How to Get Hired, Develop a Career and Always be Successful,” offers a three-part formula for staying in-demand:

Solve a problem: Every successful career begins with the critical understanding of why people are hired in the first place: to solve a problem that a company or organization doesn’t have the resources to solve from within. It is important to remember that filling an open position is about what’s best for the company, not you.

Be competent: Possessing competence in your field may sound obvious, but according to van Steenis, it’s imperative for individuals to stay current and remain relevant.

Produce: “My father always told me — ‘the world pays for producers — be one,’” says van Steenis.

Organizations look for all the signs of a good candidate when hiring, but once that employee begins the job, the only question is, “How are you helping the company?”

Employees that produce are the least likely to be let go despite rough economic conditions, and the first to be recruited when openings become available.

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