Why this skill could catapult your career in the next 10 years

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Now that the gig economy is fully entrenched, those that doesn't understand every job is temporary are living in denial. Today, the average worker over the course of forty years will have as many as nine careers in their lifetime, with as many as three jobs in each one. Career security is now directly tied to your employability a/k/a the relevance of your skills and abilities to the labor market. If you don't continue to grow, evolve, and adapt your skills to the demand of the workplace, you risk becoming disposable - and unemployed.

RELATED: The top 15 most valuable career skills:

15 most valuable career skills
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15 most valuable career skills

#15: IT security and infrastructure
Pay premium: 3.7 percent

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#14: Business analysis
Pay premium: 3.8 percent

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#13: SAP material management
Pay premium: 3.9 percent

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#12: Risk management/risk control
Pay premium: 3.9 percent

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#11: Financial analysis
Pay premium: 4.0 percent

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#10: Customer service metrics
Pay premium: 4.3 percent

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#9: Technical sales
Pay premium: 4.3 percent

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#8: Strategic planning
Pay premium: 4.3 percent

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#7: Strategic project management
Pay premium: 4.4 percent

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#6: Software development
Pay premium: 4.9 percent

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#5: Contract negotiation
Pay premium: 5.0 percent

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#4: Data Modeling
Pay premium: 5.0 percent

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#3: Search engine marketing
Pay premium: 5.0 percent​

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#2: Data mining/Data warehosing 
Pay premium: 5.1 percent

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#1: SAS (Statistical Analysis System)
Pay premium: 6.1 percent​

Photo credit: Getty


Why Google Seeks, "Learning Animals"

Some companies, like Google and Ernst & Young have figured out one trait is more important than the rest when recruiting employees: learnability. Eric Schmidt from Google says they seek, "learning animals" - people who are naturally driven to learn on their own. These companies have figured out faster than the rest that the key to keeping their teams at peak performance is to choose employees who are predisposed to learn and grow on their own. Forget where you went to college and what grades you got, smart companies are now asking the bigger question in interviews, "How are you keeping your ability to learn new things up, now that school is over?"

Hungry Brain = More Career Opportunities

More and more, corporations are realizing their top performers are self-directed learners with what's referred to as, 'hungry brains' i.e. are curious and inquisitive individuals who are genuinely interested in acquiring new knowledge. Studies show companies are wasting billions of dollars each year on in-house training programs that aren't providing lasting results. The solution? Recruit talent with natural learnability that comes from a personal motivation to grow professionally.

Simple Quiz Will Reveal Your Current Learnability Level

You should expect to see a series of behavioral questions in future job interviews designed to determine your learnability level. Ask yourself the following:

1) Have you ever self-taught yourself a skill?
2) Have you invested time in learning something new in the last six months just because you wanted to know more?
3) Can you clearly explain the best method for you to learn something quickly?
4) Since graduating, have you invested in any training or courses to teach you something new?
5) In your previous job, did you proactively (without being told), learn any new skills to make yourself more valuable to the company?
6) Have you ever had to learn a new skill on your own, outside of work, in order to stay successful in a job?

If you answered, "yes" to all of the above, your learnability is looking good. If not, you may want to consider how to become more of a, "learning animal" so you can stay employable.

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