How many times in your career have you been asked to work on a project or with a tool that you knew or suspected might not be advancing your career? I’m sure it’s happened to all of us. A mentor of mine told me early in my career to always stay away from the projects that involve office space, cubicles, etc. He told me these were “career killers”.
I remember early times in computer networking when there were many more competitors than remain today; and how valuable a Cisco certification was to an engineer. Those that "died on the hill" of Banyan, Novell, Juniper and other technologies and platforms learned a valuable lesson. The same holds true for software development, off-the-shelf software products, etc.
I realize that we’ve all had to “take one for the team” and take an assignment that was not going to advance our career. I’m not suggesting that you not be a team player and refuse these assignments. Iam however, suggesting that over the long haul, make sure you are working on projects, tools as well as with a company whose services and products are strategic in the market and in high demand. This is your ultimate job security for yourself.
Not sure if your current assignments or recent assignments are marketable and in demand in the market? I've always liked buying and selling stuff. eBay continues to be a tool I use frequently. I especially use it before I throw away something that I think may be valuable. The easiest way to determine whether something has value is to go see what people will pay for it. eBay is a great platform for that. So why bring up eBay in the context of managing your career and making sure you are relevant? All you have to do is go out to indeed.com and take a look at jobs for yourself given your current skills and experience. You can even kick tires and apply for a few jobs. If you don't get hits or you don't like what you're seeing as far as the demand in the market, this is when you should do some serious self-reflection on your current experience.
You are responsible for managing your career. And without a doubt, a big part of that means ensuring that you are relevant, marketable and in demand.