Worker dissatisfaction is at an all time high among the U.S. workforce. With the national unemployment rates close to 10 percent, workers who have jobs are staying put - temporarily. Estimates of up to 65 percent will consider changing jobs when the economy picks up. Here are 8 tips for staying grounded and navigating the new workforce landscape.
1. Expect multiple jobs
The full-time job is becoming less common. Expect to have many jobs throughout the course of your career. The average person entering the work force today can anticipate 4 – 5 different careers by the time they are 38. That is different careers, not jobs. In addition to the more frequent turn over, positions are increasingly more volatile. People can expect more part-time work, more freelancing or consulting work to supplement their full-time employment.
2. Always be prepared for change
Whether you currently have a job or not, be prepared to make a change at all times. Last year we saw a tidal wave of layoffs. Workers were expected to do more with less, job responsibilities shifted, there were mergers and acquisitions, and pay cuts. Make sure you know your marketable skills.
3. Have a personal risk management plan in place
Know what you will do in the event of an unexpected lay off. It is a good idea to venture into freelance or some consulting work while you are employed. Do not allow the unexpected to catch you totally off guard.
4. Manage your network effectively
If you are not a member of a professional association, you should consider joining one. You will keep your skills sharp through the continuing education opportunities as well as meet new people in your industry or field. Associations also offer opportunities to volunteer for positions that can further enhance your resume.
5. Know your personal brand
Do you know how you are perceived as a professional? What makes you stand out from the crowd as a high-performing employee? You need to be able to articulate your value-proposition. Don't rely on potential employers being able to intuit what you bring to the party. Leave no room for doubt through focusing on benefits, not features..
6. Have a killer resume
Your resume is your most important marketing material about you. It should be contemporary, fresh, kept up to date, and showcase your most desirable attributes to potential employers. Make sure it presents you in such a way that you look appropriate for your target. Control what the reader notices. Remember, most resumes receive only a 10 – 20 second glance to determine if they are worth further consideration.
7. Build your testimonials
Every time you get a complimentary note, acknowledgement, or thank you, for a job well done, be sure to keep track. You want to be able to share the great things your colleagues, managers, and subordinates say about you.
8. Pay it forward
Take opportunities to help others. You will find that pouring into the lives and successes of other people will return to you. Where you find yourself right now, is usually the result of actions you have taken over the course of the last two years.
Make a habit of being a good example in the workplace and demonstrating a positive attitude. Make the most of your current work situation, but don’t assume it will last forever. You will be much better off if you be the best employee you can be, but be ready for the unexpected.