The U.S. Labor Department has said that 6.3 million jobs are open and need to be filled by someone like you. That is, if you have the training and experience for which the marketplace is looking. What’s going on? What should you do? How do you explore your potential?
As you know, the marketplace responds to current economic conditions. In 2008, the conditions were terrible, companies reduced their workforce and many people suffered job loss and worse. Now it’s just the reverse. It’s an opportunity when organizations across all sectors must expand and upgrade. This causes pay raises and promotions to supply the talent needed. It’s a risk if your unprepared and didn’t upgrade or expand your skills and experiences over the past 10 years.
The Labor Department also said the number of people hired increased at a slower rate and the number of people quitting their job for another job is low. This produces opportunity. Companies are scrambling to find the talent that they need. What are those areas of need? Jobs in process improvement (doing things quicker or better with higher productivity), manufacturing (a surge in jobs), data analysis (“big data” –taking huge data points and finding worthwhile information), security in technology (stop hackers, keep information safe), support functions (finance, administration and staff functions that reduce cost or increase performance).
So, what should you do? Here are five preliminary steps:
- Check out the marketplace – There are many websites that will survey your field of expertise and position descriptions describing requirements. Talk to people in your industry and function. Find out what’s going on at your level and tenure. What’s your peer group doing? Are they advancing without you?
- Check your skills and experiences against what the marketplace says it needs. If you have 75 to 80% of what’s needed, you’re doing well. At 50% you’re marginal. Identify the skills or experiences you need to be ready for a change. Put a strategy in place.
- Put a compelling resume together. Make sure it hits the major points that most position descriptions require. Define the measurable results for which hiring managers are looking. Use metrics that are results oriented.
- Test the marketplace. Send out a few resumes to jobs you feel you are well suited. If you get favorable responses, you can then make a decision of whether to move ahead or not. Like a suit or dress, there’s nothing wrong with trying it on to see if it fits.
- If you’re unsure, ask a professional to help you. A co-worker or past boss may be able to assist your efforts with your resume or job search strategy. Talk to a job search specialist who has an excellent track record. Will they continue to work with you until you are placed in a new position? If not, find someone else.
Now may be the time to accelerate your career. Take these five steps to find out.
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