Today’s global job market and rules of engagement have dramatically shifted. For example, in June 2009, the Wall Street Journal ran an article titled Only the Employed Need Apply. The article addressed how employers now prefer candidates who are already employed. Yet, in today’s economic environment, where employment cutbacks across the world have hit record highs, this unspoken elimination process can be perceived by many as the kiss of death.
However, there is hope—yet this hope requires that you are on your “A” game.
So, what does it mean to be on that “A” game? Preparing you for today’s global job market encompasses a well-defined strategy and implementation process.
Before you sit down to write that “winning” resume and cover letter, there is important personal development work you should undertake.
First, understand the interpersonal and intra-personal dynamics, related core competencies and skills and cross-cultural awareness that industries and career paths in which you hold an interest now require of their workforce. How do you get that information? Simple! Talk to people in the industries in which you have an interest, read as much information as you can about the personal brand that is now being published and list the fundamentals qualifications of what this profile and resulting brand “looks” like in a global context. But most important, compare and contrast where you are (realistically) compared to this workforce profile!
Once you have this information, do an honest inventory of where you stand. Yet, when doing this inventory, do not engage in it from a negative point of view. Appreciatively think about and write down your core strengths, where you have made a difference in your work environment, family, community, and other venues. And, reflect upon how happy you have been when you have been at your best.
Armed with a positive perspective of you, your strengths and successes, next dream about what you really want to do in your life and compare this information with the first two steps. Dream the grandest vision you have of you. Are you really personally aligned to the industry (or industries) and/or career path you researched or are your strengths and your personal vision suggesting a different direction? Are there gaps that you need to focus on addressing via a personal development plan?
If you are aligned with where you initially began, or find that you may want to go in a different direction, or have concluded that you need some “shoring up,” begin to develop your personal strategy and developmental steps.
Your strategy should include relevant tactical developmental steps and milestones. And, it is prudent to remember that you should not allow people to take you off of your personal strategy. Far too often, people have visions and goals, but they do not have the details necessary to get them from one point to another.
When this occurs, it is easy for people to sway you off of your path. Even if you have family responsibilities, when you have your strategy and tactical steps aligned, you are better positioned to prioritize what you need to do for others compared to what you need to do for you. Remember, being able to do for you is germane to being able to do for others without feeling inordinate and/or debilitating stress. This is called being in balance.
Insure that you are physically up to readying yourself for change and the implementation processes for your strategy. Stress management is critical. Being healthy and vibrant, where you are eating correctly as well as exercising is key to meeting your personal strategic plan as well as positively moving towards each milestone.
Routinely assess your progress and do not be afraid to re-modulate your action steps if necessary. Circumstances can and sometimes do impact our strategy and/or tactical steps. However, they should never be perceived as impediments to forward movement.
Yes, our world is changing and that change will continue. And yes, the rules of engagement for today’s global job market have significantly changed and are continuing to change. But these changes, I believe can be healthy for today’s workforce. Engaging in career change strategies will cause you to engage in healthy reflective action, where your steps can better align you with your dreams and aspirations and the morphing of today’s world.
As Helen Keller once said…
“To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”
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