Today’s job market is a volatile, highly unpredictable, roller-coaster ride. Layoffs, mergers and company closings are the norm, the new Business 101. Staying with the same employer for too long may actually hurt your “brand.” Yet, if you’re like most people, you don’t know exactly how all these changes impact your career. Or, more importantly, what to do to get through the rough spots when they do appear.
Wherever you are on your career path, you might want to consider investing some time every few months to take an honest self-assessment of how your career stacks up in the change-a-minute business environment. The following exercise will provide you an overview of where your career may need some up dating or fine-tuning.
Answer the following questions, giving yourself a score of 1-5 points for each.
Strongly agree – 5 points
Generally true – 4 points
Sometimes, sometimes not – 3 points
I don’t think so – 2 points
Huh? – 1 points
____:I know my skills are current and in high demand
____:I understand today’s job market, hot industries and hiring practices, and I am ideally positioned to take advantage of changes and new trends.
____:I have a range of strategies available to me to get noticed, hired and promoted.
____:I know what it takes to clearly stand out in the crowded job market
____:I am confident I can target and research the right companies for me
____:I can successfully negotiate a great compensation package with prospective or :current employers.
____:I interview so well, it’s scary.
____:I have an large and active network of influential contacts who can get me in front of key decision makers at any time
____:I know exactly how I can enhance most any company’s value proposition
____:I have a clear and specific career marketing plan
Where do you rate?
30-45: You have some good skills and knowledge in place, but there’s some work to do to move you from successful-by-luck to successful-by-choice. You may need occasional assistance to fill in the critical gaps in your knowledge, bring you up to date, and give you more complete access to the skills that will continue to give you a successful career.
15-30: You are probably thinking about the employment market according to the old rules. You may need some help in learning how to practice some new ways of thinking, do effective research, and get into action about your professional future. You too can become a master of the ever-changing career landscape.
10-15: Your career strategy involves waiting and hoping, occasionally complaining about the ill hand of fate and a boss who doesn’t appreciate you. Time to take control of your career, and learn the skills needed to succeed in today’s employment marketplace.
So what do you do with this information?
- do nothing and gloat in the fact you are clearly in charge of your career
- ask those people you trust and respect, but probably not your immediate family, what they think of your score and ask them for their ideas and feedback
- develop a written plan to update your career strategy to better reflect what is going on in the business world
- keep doing what you are doing and hope for the best
- talk to the experts at Colorado Careers to fine tune – or create – a winning strategy!
Today’s rapidly changing workplace can actually be a terrific time to move your career forward. While most people have a tendency to “sit tight” until they see what happens, you can be “grabbing the moment;” getting a clearer picture on where you are and where you want to go, and begin developing and implementing a strategy to move you closer to the worklife you desire.