If you’re like many of my career coaching clients, you may be wondering why no matter how hard you work you feel underemployed. If you’re a new grad you may be wondering how you could have worked your behind off for four years (or more), earned a B average (or better), while working at your career development, and can’t get anyone to take you seriously or give your the chance.
How can you apply for 100's of jobs online and get zero interest? Why do you often feel lucky to be working at all in a job where the main educational requirement is a high school diploma, or equivalent?
Perhaps you’re a skilled trades worker who constantly has to put up with idiotic supervisors. You can operate dangerous equipment, build roads, buildings, or high-tech kitchens but can’t figure a way out of what seems to be a dead-end job.
Adding to anxiety are headlines like:
- Global woes squeeze U.S. job growth - LA Times
- The Latest Jobs Report Is Making Things More Confusing - Inc.edu
- Nice Ivy League Degree. Now if You Want a Job, Go to Code School - BloombergBusiness
- The future of jobs: The onrushing wave - The Economist
We are told there’s a gap—a labor shortage between:
- needed jobs and required skills
- supply of people and supply of work
- a yawning gap between millennials and boomers
- a gap of skills, culture, understanding, and expectations
From the employers’ perspectives I see many who feel they just can’t find qualified people. In the Nashville area, the perceived shortage of tech talent has led to public private partnerships to address the problem.
We are seeing more and more:
- Creative directors with advanced skills in copywriting, graphic design and video working in libraries rather than ad agencies or marketing departments
- IT professionals who wind up training H1-B workers to take over their jobs
- College grads with five plus years of work experience who are stuck in roles many would consider entry level
- New college grads who can’t get that first job
- Professionals with Masters degrees in health related professions who wind up in administrative roles
What are employers thinking? Are they thinking at all?
There are so many career disconnects—how can you get a toehold on the fabled corporate ladder? What in the world is happening?
American Rhetoric: Movie Speech "Network" (1976) Howard Beale is 'Mad as Hell'
While there may be some political solutions, those can take years, or decades, to make a difference. We have to take charge of our own career development. Shouting “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” just won’t cut it.
You have to act to move forward, rather than go in circles, or worse, in a downward spiral.
First, understand that it’s all about getting paid for something, or to use an emerging cliche “adding value.”
What will employers pay for?
- what we know
- what we can do
- how we think
In HR speak, that’s “knowledge, skills, and abilities.”
I did a recent project looking at all the Gartner stuff on trends for a client. We wanted to understand what his organization needed, to be a source of competitive advantage. We identified many cutting edge knowledge areas, but then I noticed that there are some things that cross all fields and functions.
To help you understand how you can equip yourself to not only compete, but to thrive in the workplace and continue your career development, I’ve created a short FREE audio excerpt where I cover:
- The three key areas for professionals to focus so that no matter what is happening in the economy they can quickly mobilize and act to get meaningful work that compensates them well.
- Why trades work is a viable career option in this climate and the critical factors to break out from the crowd, make good money, and have a sustainable career.
- Why age (young or old) is irrelevant. Why boomers and millennials should join forces for maximum leverage.
And much, much more.
I’ve been thinking about this for the past year and can’t wait to share it with you. I’m mad as hell and decided to do something to make a difference! I can’t wait for you to hear it.