No, I’m not 100 years old.
However, this is the 100th article available to my readership of over 50,000 on my website. As best I can determine, there are three types of readers:
- Individuals in crisis mode, who need help caused by a layoff, termination or untenable situation from which they must leave their job immediately
- Those in a situation where they cannot advance, have an unhelpful boss, must change their function or industry, or are very unhappy and unfulfilled
- Talented professionals who save my articles for a future move to a more responsible position at a higher level, but not right now
JOB MARKET FORCES
In 1983, the average tenure in a job was 3.5 years. In 2002 it was 3.7 years, and in 2012 the average tenure was 4.6 years. Do you see the pattern? It’s called a “churn” rate: When the economy is terrific the churn rate is higher. It’s lower when the economy is glum.
Since the economy has been in a slump, older workers stay on the job longer, delaying their retirement. This fact reduces the available job openings, with no jobs being added and no expansion of opportunities. The questions are: When will the marketplace take off, and when should I start making my career plans?
One last market force: More workers want to change jobs. 21% of full-time employees want a new opportunity in 2014, the largest percentage since 2008. One reason: The pressure to move ahead with careers is building. And even more troubling: Even though 54% of employees say they like the people they work with, ONLY 29% FEEL VALUED IN THEIR JOBS. That’s a management problem that has yet to be addressed.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU? Like the Boy Scout motto: BE PREPARED!
- Determine what skills and experiences you have, that companies need and want, and that you are clearly a leader in your field. What can you do better than anyone else?
- Write a compelling resume that emphasizes your measureable successes
- Develop a rational Career Map, with target functions, levels and dates
- Quietly “test” the market, both internally and externally
- Develop a “pitch” for when a potential hiring manager calls. Don’t be caught flat-footed
- Keep your resume current and handy for when the phone call comes in
- Connect with past contacts and ask them what they see happening in their industry
- Assess your opportunities and take action. Missing the surge means a lost step.
Now is the time to prepare for the market uptick. Once accelerated, the marketplace will not wait for everyone, but will leave many behind.