Career Refraction or Career Reflection
The United States recently lost 450,000 jobs in one 24-hour period. What direct effect does this have for the families struggling to stay in demand? Heck, we know the answer to that question without trying. With this said, is there anything one can do to NOT be on the wrong side of a layoff or better his or her chances to gain employment?
Combining external reading with my experience as a professional career writer and coach, I’ve noticed several threads stitching the job waves. Self awareness (seems like this is one of my hot topics) and an individual’s ability to transfer the contributions he or she offers to a current or potential employer. To break this down a bit, companies are looking for an instant return on their investment. Thus, if you are not adding to the bottom line, you may want to reconsider job performance and get into the groove of making contributions…and quickly. If you are adding to the bottom line AND NOT letting your supervisors know your value, you may be out of a job soon—even if you are the best under the roof!
Say what? Surely this can’t be true; after all, if I am adding to the bottom-line, should that not be enough? Reality check: We must toot our own horns (but not in an over-zealous manner). For those feeling uncomfortable about letting your boss know you are doing an outstanding job (backed by results and not simply an un-validated claim), time to get out of your comfort zone or your value will go unnoticed. Trust me when I say your peers are not shy about letting the big boss know they are the reason the sun comes out.
Marketing 101 in review: During the past few three years the manner in which employers reviewed potential and current employees changed dramatically. No longer are the days of invisibility (yet still getting the job done) good enough to make it to retirement. In today’s market, you must make yourself known to the world. No doubt your peers (and you) can do the job—but doing is not enough.
Guided by Escher’s drawing hand, you are now required to do much more and more often than not, receive much less (relatively speaking). Oh, for the hard-headed, there is no escape from this reality so get over yourself.
Simply doing is not enough. Added value is a key element in determining the stay-or-go employer mentality. In effect, to remain atop a spiraling staircase (yet another reference to Escher), we must become super-hero resourceful in what and how we do a job. We must also welcome adaptability (stop the whining), learn more about what that person seen in the mirror is all about, and bring about a perception of our own making.
The new employer mindset is only beginning. Know this: each person is defined not by what we see in the glass reflection; each person is defined by what the other person sees (and hears, heck, throw in all the senses).
Layoff vs. Payoff: Bring more to the table than is required and don’t be afraid or timid to let others know your value. By assessing yourself and developing overall skills, the quality and variety of options grow. Our current career market is becoming thinner each day and the time to be seen has never been more important.
Begin TODAY by being visible, network, quantify and let your boss know the contributions you make. For those seeking employment, the things you do now paves what will happen tomorrow. Today is the perfect day to develop a plan of growth. If you need help in this, all you have to do is ask.
Are you ready to look in the mirror and reflect your value or are you refracting what others see? Two words so close in sound yet so distant in meaning.
While on a groove, think I’ll end with this final thought… if things don’t change, they’ll remain the same. Is that where you need (or want) to be? I thought you’d say that.
Danny Huffman, MA,CEIP, CPRW, CPCC, author, educator, and co-owner of Career Services International/Education Career Services. He may be reached at email@example.com or visit his Career Blog at www.educationcs.wordpress.com.