The Changing Labor Market
During the recession, there was a huge drop in demand, hence the unemployment rate went up to 9%. Since that time, we have seen a huge shift in the work model. Now, it’s not so much what you know, more than it is what you can do with the knowledge/experience you have. Jobs are numerous today, and many times, more than not, a bachelor’s degree is not always a necessity to perform a particular job.
We are finding that employers are designing evaluations to measure a candidate’s skills. We are also finding that employers do not care where these skills were acquired -online universities, courses, or a prestigious college such as Harvard, Columbia, etc. I am not downplaying that those of you who have obtained degrees from these universities will not find them useful, I am just indicating that the bottom line is, employers just want to know that you can add value to their organization.
The market is a bit challenging, in that many candidates do not have the skill sets that employers are seeking, and also, employers on the whole have unrealistic expectations. They are looking for that ‘perfect match’, yet interestingly they do not have the time to train you, and most expect you to be well qualified, and at times even overqualified.
In today’s marketplace, you must absolutely ‘prove yourself’. Many skills needed today are not being taught in colleges. Big corporations and small start-ups are beginning to design skill evaluations, along with staffing companies, who are offering these evaluations to employers, which are customized to the skill set that the employer is seeking, encompassing technical expertise, team effort, strategic approach, company cultural matches, etc.
Many candidates today apply for jobs online, without even researching the company in advance. This is pretty shocking, seeing that most of your day/week, and year is spent in the workplace. If you were looking for a roommate, wouldn’t you check their references and backgrounds, before making a decision to allow someone to share your home?
After reading the statistics last year, one in 500 are hired who apply online. I am sure the statistic is even higher today.
What is the conclusion from all of this? Well, that a person who can bring these values to their job is consistently adding to their skills, learning from others in the workplace, and picking up new technologies.
You must consistently re-invent yourself to keep up with today’s marketplace. Today it is what you can do. So ask yourself, if I have applied for a marketing manager role, what has my success rate been in attracting clients via messaging, social media etc.? Do I have the numbers to share with my employer on my success, and how I got there in detail?
If you are a college grad, get involved in internships, volunteer programs, community work- anything you can do to gain the skills and experience that will eventually land you that job you have always wanted. Think entrepreneurially – demonstrate passion, interest, willingness to make things happen, and that you will have the flexibility to do what it takes to get the job done. Keep your sales hat on – upgrade those skills consistently, and you will get hired and will demonstrate the value that is required by all employers today.
It’s a competitive marketplace, however, stay on top of your game, and choose a career that motivates you to get up every day, passionate about what you do, and happy to be alive.