It’s no secret that the world of work is rapidly changing. The professionals who’ll succeed are those who embrace these changes and prepare for them. Here are five key trends that are redefining both how we find jobs and how we advance our corporate careers.
- Job seekers will be sought after.
In the future, open jobs won’t be posted. As a professional, you’ll no longer hunt for a job, but will be “hunted”. Don’t worry, this is not as scary as it sounds!
Hiring managers will use their social networks (real and virtual) and even Google to find you. No matter how impressive your credentials, if you can’t be found,, you’ll miss out on opportunities. Resumes will be a marketing tool of the past replaced by branded bios that paint a more differentiated picture of your credentials and your unique personality characteristics. The quality and visibility of your bio on networking sites (and on your own personal web site) will have a major impact on your career.
How you can prepare: Know who potential hiring managers are for the position in which you’re interested and remain visible to them. You must create a solid, enduring reputation. To do this, you will need to have an online profile so you can be found easily in a Google search. This means you will need your own professional, regularly updated website that conveys your value. Your online profile (bio and everything written about you on the web) will need to be stellar. Consult a professional to write your bio and the copy for your site.
Self-evaluation: Are you easily found online?
- Job tenure will continue to decrease.
As companies respond to the rapidly changing needs of the marketplace, your current role will not stay as it is for long. You will need to deliver value each and every day. Your performance must be notable and consistent. In addition, you may have an increasingly shorter time-frame in which to prove yourself. For example, the 100 day plan for new executives may become the 60 day plan, then the 30 day plan.
How you can prepare: You must treat every project, every report and every meeting as an opportunity to express your worth. It’s not bragging if you can prove it. You must be willing to stand out so you don’t get lost in the continuous shuffle. That means taking a stand, having an opinion, and consistently delivering value. You need to become even clearer about your personal brand (how you differentiate yourself) and demonstrate it in every opportunity to build your reputation from the first day.
Self-evaluation: Do you use every opportunity to express your brand?
- You’ll move from “ACME, Inc.” to “Me, Inc.” and back.
Professionals will move seamlessly in and out of the corporate world. One day, you’ll be employed by a company, and the net you’ll be working on contract, perhaps with that same employer. You’ll have to be adept at being both employed and self-employed. You will need a visible profile so your next gig can find you while you’re working on your current one.
How you can prepare: You need to think of your self as a business. Identify your target market and develop marketing strategies to increase your visibility and create demand for your services. To stand out from the pack, develop a personal communications plan that complements your brand. Then, execute it continuously through the professional organizations you belong to, publications you contribute to, and public speaking. This gives you the credibility and visibility necessary to successfully straddle your two new “modes”- being employed and being self-employed.
Self-evaluation: When is the last time you wrote an article or delivered a presentation?
- Specialists and generalists will be in demand.
Companies will need some people who are extremely flexible- people who can move from finance to R & D, or from developing an ad campaign to measuring its effectiveness. Companies will operate as if they have mini start-ups inside and will need multi-talented individuals to drive these businesses. At the same time, employers will need focused experts who can help deliver innovation and differentiation from the competition. The ‘average’ employee will have little value in the new world of work.
How you can prepare: Define yourself as either a generalist or specialist and be that—always. Being a generalist does not mean that you are average at everything. It means you are exceptional at being flexible. If you’re a specialist, be clear about your specialty. ‘Me-tto’ won’t work in the future. Your contributions need to be differentiated and unique. If you’re an expert, you must flaunt that expertise and express your thought-leadership through what you do both at work and beyond.
Self-evaluation: Are you a generalist or specialist?
- All companies will be global companies.
As the internet continues to dissolve boundaries, virtually every company will look for growth beyond their typical nation or regional borders. As competitors extend beyond their traditional boundaries, all companies will be forced to do the same or risk becoming very small niche players. Employees with international expertise and a passion for all things global will be in great demand. Xenophobia will not be tolerated.
How you can prepare: Become global. Volunteer for an international assignment. Visit other countries while on vacation. Learn a foreign language. Learn from your international colleagues. Even those who have just a curiosity for all things foreign will have an advantage over those who never look beyond their national comfort zones. Communicate your global reach and think about the international implications of everything you do.
For related articles about personal branding and job search, review these articles:
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