Most of us work hard to prove our worth day after day for our current jobs, but the skills we should be developing most are the ones we'll need for our next job.
Photo by jabberwocky381
That's the advice Visual Studio magazine has for developers, advice which could apply to just about any career. Consider your set of skills as a package that sells you to your next employer:
[The key word] is "package." While my employer would have liked to have the ideal employee who was good at everything, my employer recognised it had to settle for me: someone who excelled in some areas and had deficiencies in other areas. My salary reflected that assessment.
Your job, therefore, is to put together a package that's attractive to your current and to potential employers. In fact, you shouldn't be working on the package your current job requires. After all, you have that job and, presumably, deserve it. You should be working on the skills package that will allow you to move into your next job. As you put together your package, in addition to considering which skills are current and developing (see my last column), you also need to consider four other things: uniqueness, base skills, essential skills, natural aptitude.
The goal isn't to become a serial job hopper or to neglect the skills you need in your current position, but, rather, to always be thinking ahead and ready for your next big move.
Keeping Your Next Developer Job [Visual Studio Magazine]