Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Truth You Need to Know but May Not Want to Hear

Anyone who is in the current job market will agree it is not the job market it used to be. It is harder to find a job and there is a totally different way to do so. It is taking longer to find a job than in previous years. The internet and the social networks have also added new dimensions to the job search process. There is one more truth of the job market that you need to know but may not want to hear. That truth is that your next job will not be your last; you will be on the job market again. You didn’t ask that the market change in this way – it just did. You have to know that the market has changed in this way and you have to adapt.

People who have heard me speak know I use analogies, comparisons to things, to make my point visual and easier to understand. My analogy for the truth that your next job is not your last is the evolution of the home telephone.

For those who are from the Baby Boomer and Echo Boomer generations, we are familiar with a home phone that was hard-wired to the house. A telephone service person had to come to install or replace the phone since it required wiring expertise. If you ripped the phone from the wall, you left a hole and a mess with loose hanging wires.

Today the phones have modular plugs that make it easy to cleanly remove the phone and plug it into another modular phone outlet. The relationship between the employer and the employee has changed in the same way.

The Old Way

Baby Boomers and earlier generations plugged into a company and worked at the company for many years. Although that may not be the only company they worked for, employees gave loyalty to the company and expected loyalty and longevity in return. The employee felt assured of keeping the job in exchange for good performance and hard work.

Hiring managers of those days looked down on anyone who changed jobs frequently. These people were called job hoppers and were not valued. The thought of hiring managers was that once the company hired and trained the job hopping employee, the employee would leave. The company would not benefit from the expense of the orientation and training the company invested in the employee.

The New Way

Fast forward to today. Regardless of how well you perform and how long you have been with the company, companies are cutting employees, as talented, as hardworking, and as loyal as you. Today you need to be more like the modular phone. When you plug into a company, plug in and perform well and at the right time, their decision or yours, unplug cleanly and move on. Know that there is no shame in being unemployed.

To be successful in this new market there are things that you need to do to succeed.

1) Know how to navigate in the new job market. Be good at finding that next job. If you are struggling now, get help to learn how to do it better.

2) Once you are employed there are actions you need to take to be ready for the next time. (I will write an article on this topic in the near future.)

3) Share this information with friends and family who are not familiar with the changes to the job market. Help them understand the major transformations that occurred to create the job market as it is today.

Whether you want to hear it or not, the job market has changed and your next job will not be your last. Everyone will be on the job market again. Adapt by learning to do it right.

No comments:

Post a Comment