Getting and staying relevant has played into my own 2006 career change but even more importantly relevance is an essential key to navigate the very different career and job world today. Without being relevant to this current landscape and process you will not progress or succeed.
If relevance is about being applicable, ready, prepared, I ask you: are you applicable, ready and prepared for the job and career world you want or are going after? Your career branding, that clear value statement about who you are and what specific job skill or quality you bring to the table can be the difference between being skimmed over or noticed.
The theme for my career change since Aug 2006 has been about Radical Change-Radical Action-Radical Results. I see this as the ‘storyline of our moment.’
This is August 2011, not 1985, 1995, or 2005! The radical reality is the pace of our lives continues to increase, the amount of horsepower we need to ride in the 21stcentury has increased. Your relevance is tied into that horsepower.
Do you have enough horsepower?
Two statistics and a huge trend stand out and should help make you feel NOT so alone if you are currently in a career change.
*23 year low in job satisfaction according to Harvard Business School.
*2 million people voluntarily left their jobs this past May according to the Corporate Executive Board Research Form
So laid off, down sized, voluntary or dissatisfied what are you specifically going to do differently than what you have been doing to find a job?
Successful job search and career change requires a high level of relevance, leadership and initiative today!
One of my favourite quotes that has stuck with me for almost 20 years was by Sales Guru Tom Hopkins who said, “You have to become a premium item in a generic market” That’s why relevance as a key career branding essential is so important. It can help you become more of a premium.
Here are five ways of thinking you must shift to impact becoming that premium item:
- From being a generalist, looking for anything to thinking more like a specialist targeting a very clear niche and focus.
- From finding a job to creating jobs for yourself and reasons people should interview you and want to hire you with the your special skills and qualities.
- From getting hired to becoming highly employable. Again your relevance plays into this big time.
- From being just qualified to having a high level of career value and magnetism. Develop more charisma that highlights your X, It, Wow?
- From focusing less on what you can’t do and more on what you CAN do and do it. This is an energy shift that will make you more positive and optimistically enhance your career value and magnetism. Get radical, honest and forthright about how relevant you really are. It’s humbling to admit that we’ve let our skills slip, but it’s not the end of the world and easily correctable.
It’s not about how old or young or being the perfect age you are. It’s that you come to the career and job table with the right energy, attitude, skills and leadership. It’s not enough to be qualified today. People are getting hired because of the value and intangibles they bring to the workplace that can impact it immediately.
These ideas and lessons have helped this Baby Boomer stay positive and relevant over multiple career transitions and reinventions.
- Everything you need is already inside of you. Look within.
- Believe in the value of who you are and what you have done. Why do we devalue ourselves?
- Don’t be afraid of change, embrace it as an adventure. Your career change can actually be fun.
- Set yourself up to succeed by doing whatever it takes. Relevance and initiative.
Check under your hood and make sure you are powered by at the very least six horses!
Deborah Shane is an author, branding consultant, media host speaker and writer. She is in her third year of hosting a weekly business radio show on blogtalkradio.com. She writes for several national business, career and marketing blogs, and websites including smallbiztrends.com, careerealism.com, Internationalbusinesstimes.com, personalbrandingblog.com and blogher.com Her new book Career Transition-make the shift– is available now on amazon.com and all major book sellers. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogtalkradio @Deborah Shane, or visit www.deborahshane.com.
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