Saturday, February 28, 2009

Invest in yourself

Anyone who has owned a company understands what it means to reinvest in your business. Make a sale, take the proceeds and reinvest in the latest technology or in more inventory. There will be time to cash in all the chips later but for now you must keep taking those dollars and putting them back into your business. So why do professionals in job transition see things differently?

Times are tough and mostly likely to get worse before it gets better. Companies are laying off in record numbers according to a recent New York Times article. As the recruiting manager for a sales consulting firm, my inbox of resumes from candidates recently laid off is increasing by the day. Recent conversations with professionals working in the advertising industry indicate more layoffs are on the horizon as budgets are getting cut and profits have turned to deficits. So what should the growing number of jobless professionals do? How about reinvesting in YOURSELF!

The concept of calling up a recruiter, hoping that they have the perfect job waiting for you is unrealistic. Even if they did have the ideal position how prepared are you to be considered for that job? Is your resume flawless? How are your interviewing skills? Do you know how to work with a recruiter? Do you know what you want?

The competition is fierce out there. More people will apply to the same jobs you are resulting in fewer opportunities if you are not polished in all areas of your "career search". Much like a successful business evaluates where they are, where they want to go, and what they need to do to get there, the same should hold true for job seekers. What I am finding is that most job seekers have not taken the proper steps to compete in this challenging job market.

  1. Change your mind set - The old traditional ways of looking for a job no longer work
  2. Take stock of skill sets - Do they align with what companies are looking for today?
  3. Consider learning a trade that is in demand - You may have to invest both time & money but you're worth it!
  4. Hire a career coach - Like the business model explained above, this can make the difference.

Companies that survive in these difficult economic times are investing in their business today more than ever. This is not the time to stick your head in the sand and hope that good things will happen. "Hope" is not a strategy. I recommend that if you decide to hire a professional career coach, do your research. Much like the car that you bought, the house that you purchased, or the big screen television sitting in your living room, do your homework. Check out their LinkedIn testimonials, read their blogs, interview them to make sure your investment in YOU will pay dividends.