Whether you're looking for a new job now or prepping for a promotion or new role with an existing employer in the future, your reinvention strategy needs to bring more to the table in a soft recovery--one that some analysts and officials say could last well into 2012.
The 2009 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report based on the annual survey findings of employers and employees by Robert Half International and CareerBuilder® discovered that a full 47 percent of managers surveyed cited "a shortage of qualified applicants" as their top hiring challenge*.
They also reported that 44 percent of the resumes received are "not qualified". The characteristics most valued by these hiring managers were "multitasking", "initiative", and "creative problem solving".When was the last time you reviewed and updated your "expertise bundle"?
Portable assets are your key differentiators when you're looking to reinvent yourself. These are your areas of expertise, something defined in Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers as mastery of a skill or The 10,000 Hour Rule.
All too often, professionals discount their skills even when they do hold "mastery status" due to a variety of reasons, but primarily because they haven't used the skill for some time. Even a one-time passion that's been buried for years, or even decades, gets a bit rusty over time.
I've had clients who were genuinely surprised by the quality of their own experience and the mastery of their skills. Unearthing their past like skilled archeologists, it's fun to watch as the layers of experience unfold before their eyes.
Reinventing is often about surfacing what already exists.
But what if you don't have expertise or "skills that sizzle", a question I posed to Marky Stein, author and career expert, during last week's Big Dreamers show. Marky offered some great tips for college students and those with limited experience by leveraging the power of language ("knowledge of", "competent in" or "proficient in", for example).
Transferable skills are "flex" skills because they cross industries and functional areas. You can take them anywhere and begin applying them just as quickly.
These are often referred to as "soft skills" or non-technical skills. Although company searches for technical positions don't always include soft skills, quite often these skills are what recruiters and hiring managers look for during their first interview with you.
Skills such as communication,
negotiations, organization, collaboration, leadership, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), relationship management, problem solving, creativity, risktaking, and innovation are valued business skills in any economy, but even more so during a soft recovery that require professionals to innovate in new ways.
Transferable skills are where you source for areas that "hum your heart", converting them to Portal Assets over time through training and practical application.
Proactive versus reactive: isn't it time you reviewed and updated your "expertise bundle"?
Some other interesting points contained in the EDGE Report:
- 40 percent of employers report that when the economy improves, they expect to use money as their primary method for retaining top performers.
- 45 percent of employees plan to change "jobs, careers, or industries" when the economy recovers.
- 9 out of 10 employees "are satisfied with their current work situations"
- Nearly half of employees surveyed said higher compensation will be the most effective way to retain them after the economy improves.
- Top perks for employees? Technology upgrades (79 percent) and tuition reimbursement or subsidized training (61 percent).