This past Saturday, the guest speaker at the St. Matthias Employment Ministry was my friend Donna Coulson. Consultant, coach, and job search expert, Donna's topic was "Reinventing Yourself for Today's New Job Market."
While I have written about reinvention before, Donna brought a fresh perspective and some challenging ideas, including:
You are CEO of You!: Know what’s needed in today's market. Where are your skills in demand? The job you had may not be coming back! Be a Trend Tracker—what’s needed in the marketplace from your Tool Kit and Skill Set?
Know Your Value: Know how you Stand Out from the Crowd. There are 400 people for every Corporate job opening now, not 50. Figure out what’s Unique about you and determine your main focus. Know how to be of Value and Service in a Different way. Ask. Observe. So, do you use existing management or technical skills in a totally new way or different environment? What industries need your expertise?
Develop Advocates and Mentors: Donna dispelled a common myth by saying: It's not "What You Know" or "Who You Know" that really counts the most. Rather, it's Who Knows That You Know. In other words, who knows your capabilities who can advocate for you? The people who count the most are those who can advocate or mentor you now, and open doors for you to opportunity. “People hire who they know or who are referrals by a trusted colleague or friend.” (sez Donna) Get known by a wider range of people in and out of your field.
Presence: Donna says: If you are very young or much older, you need to impress people IN PERSON. They’ll ditch your resume if they think you’re too light or too heavy with experience. It’s all about assumptions: Too young to know anything, too old to learn new technology tricks. Bash the stereotype by impressing them with your "executive appearance," and your knowledge. When you get in front of the employer, Listen to their pain and show how you can resolve issues or challenges.
And one more that is so important:
Constant Learning - Donna says: If you are considering whether a COMPLETE CAREER CHANGEOVER is right for you, consider the following. Any major change involves RE-education, RE-tooling skills, NEW faces, NEW networks, NEW skills needed and NEW colleagues. While all of that is exciting, it's also a pretty demanding way to go. Find some people who are already doing the career you are thinking of and ask them: How long are the learning requirements and your learning curve? What phase of life are you in?
For more wisdom from Donna, you can follow her in the Examiner.com where she is writing a column on career issues.
Posted by Terrence Seamon, May 10, 2010