Poverty of Employability

Are you career ready?  Will 2014 finally be the year you make that move?  Does change give you the creeps?

I met Michael in 2004 and he was the Program Manager for one of the largest IT Companies in the world.  He had already been there for 14 years after joining straight out of an Ivy League campus.  He had worked his way up the ranks from a ‘freshie’ to a well-respected and popular Technical Manager.   He boasted that he was one of the few ‘old-timers’ who had joined the company and had stuck around with it since its inception.  “What happened to all the rest?” I asked rather inquisitively?   They all moved on was his ready response.  For a company with over a hundred thousand people, I wondered why Michael stuck on.  Did he love it so much?  Did it pay/ reward him handsomely?  Was this his dream job?  Over a period of time, he shared his fears about his feeling of change.  He had gotten so cemented in the system that he feared he could no longer qualify to find a job anywhere. 

Over the next few years, I met several other Michaels who felt more or less the same.  The inability to find another job, the lack of awareness of the job market, dearth of updated skills and technology, and a complete absence of networking outside their own organization all contributed to this feeling of shame, helplessness and guilt. 

How can 2014 be different?  It is imperative to be mindful of the age and time that we live in.  Technology and Skills are constantly changing and employment is a direct result of both market demand and ability.  Both have to meet on the axis for the equation to be right.  While Market demand may not be something that you can have complete control over, it is still certainly something that you can gauge for the next few years.  Remember nothing in this world is permanent.  Here are a few things that can be done to stay relevant.

  1. Watch the Market Barometer- With the world changing so dynamically, it is important to measure your skills and interest against the directions of the global economy.  Stay true to your dreams but be firmly rooted in reality too.  2014 is beaming with jobs in health care, life sciences, engineering and information technology.  Demand is always there as long as you are heading in the right direction.
  2. Be relevant.  Stay relevant- Having an education is only the first step that leads you to finding your job.  In order to stay current, work on certifications, and recertification.  Several organizations today impart free training and e-learning initiatives to employees as part of their Corporate Human Resources policy.  Don’t feel shy about making use of this.  It will come in handy.
  3. Network- Networking is never out of vogue.  The rise of social and professional media sites bear a testament to this.  Be ready to offer a consulting advice or help whenever the moment.  Change the mindset.  Every interaction in today’s world is an opportunity.
  4. Know your competition- From ten page CV’s to online presence; from paper to video resumes, from linkedin to blogging; the market is dynamic and change is omni-present.  Subscribe to job updates and be in the habit of reading them.  It will serve a multi-fold purpose. It will not only broaden your perspective of the job that you are qualified for but will also help identify needs, certifications, or additional experience needed while also enabling you to have a better perspective of competition.

Finally with the clock set on supply and demand, be ready to plunge into a 2014.   Career ready and Change ready! 

Susan Varghese heads Business for Cynet Systems Inc.  You can find out more about her on http://about.me/susanvarghese and connect with her on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/susan-varghese/83/979/a30

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