Three numbers from a recent survey are stunning:
• 8.5 million Americans have given up looking for work, which is 40% of the unemployed
• 45.7 million Americans are on food stamps, which cost $74 billion in 2014
• The longer you’re out of work, the more likely you stop looking for work
On the other hand, there is a strong upsurge in available positions. What’s the disconnect between these two facts? I see three forces at work:
1. The difference between the skills that employers need versus what applicants have to offer
2. The standards of performance keep moving faster than our ability to catch up
3. The education to deliver available talent is lagging the marketplace’s demand
So what can an individual do to counteract these forces?
No matter where you are in your career, continually add to your experience base: Use the education policy if your company has one, seek advanced courses, attend seminars and conferences, obtain certifications or advanced degrees and volunteer at a non-profit. For every added feature, you are advancing your potential contribution to a hiring organization.
For the younger person in high school or college: Stay in school, take the hardest courses in your field of interest, select a major that is growing and changing with the times, and broaden your base of knowledge with a minor course of studies that has practical value.
For the person starting out in a career within the first few years, they should either seek to become an expert in a field that the organization needs, or seek a broadening experience base that you can apply to multiple functions.
For the person beginning their mid-career at about age 35, figure out if you are going to reach your career goal within the next 10 or 20 years. Are you on a growth track to meet your career objective, ahead of schedule or behind the curve? Develop a Career Map that tells you where you need to be over the next 10 years. Adjust your plan every few years.
For the person who is beyond mid-career at age 50 or more, look out in time and ask yourself what level you want to achieve when you retire. Assess whether your goal is realistic or not. Do you want to reach higher levels in the hierarchy, keep contributing at your current level, or become a mentor to others? Each strategy takes a different approach, effort, and has unique skill sets.
When do you decide to either give up on your dream or continue to press forward? Choose the statement that best applies to you:
• The faster I run, the more behind I get
• When I start to get tired, I run harder
The answer will tell you a lot about your future!
I’ll provide you with a free assessment of your resume. Send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready to test the market? Email: Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net