The economy seems to be getting better… at least, when I speak, the job clubs say they are having people not come back because they land. I’m hearing this a lot, lately. That’s great, right?
In other news, layoffs are still abundant. Yahoo just dumped 2,000 engineers into the Silicon Valley area (again). Sony dumped 10,000 people (not sure where they are, I’m guessing many of them are outside of the U.S), and the Detroit Public School system pink-slipped “at least 4,100” teachers.
No one is safe from this. Nowhere is safe. No industry is safe. What used to be safe (teacher, gov’t employee, etc.) is now fair game.
What does this mean for you?
Prepare on your own with the right skills and credentials. In the olden days (a few years ago) that meant a good, solid education.
I think today it means something else (not necessarily replacing education). Here are three things YOU can do to protect yourself, and try and get some sense of what we used to call “job security”:
- Sales ability. When I got laid off my younger brother said to get a sales job for one to three years, just to get sales training and experience. I think this is brilliant advice. We sell all the time, but we aren’t trained, and we aren’t fearless, and many times we do a bad job. Whether you think you are a “salesperson” or not, start learning sales techniques and strategies.
- Entrepreneurship. Decades ago you were a cog in a wheel. You had a place, and depended on all the other cogs to do their job, and things would work. You let higher-ups make the strategic decisions that would affect your livelihood and future spending capability. TODAY it is different. This year you might have multiple jobs, or multiple income streams. That’s not bad. Personally, I think it’s empowering! It’s awesome. But we need to have that mindset change so we understand that we need to do our career more intentionally, rather than just “show up.”
- Career Management. For me this means cultivating and nurturing your network and your brand. No one else is going to do this. It’s up to you to finally get serious about your relationships, and how you manage them long-term, as well as how others perceive you (aka, your brand). Keep neglecting this and your degrees and experience will sit on the shelf getting dusty while you have long, painful job searches.
What have I been up to?
I’m cranking through my book 101 Alternatives to a Real Job. I hope to have it done and shipping by July, when I head to the D.C. area for some presentations. If it’s out in July, it will only be 7 months behind schedule :p
What have YOU been up to?