As an executive, you may have experienced many changes in the job market over the years. Predictions have been formulating for some time now about big changes in careers and the traditional workforce. The experts forecast an exponential growth in the number of self-employed, independent service firms, solopreneuers, and temporary workers by 2020 with 40% or 65 million people who will not work in traditional jobs as we know them today.
What does this mean for you? You could be affected in two ways: (1) from the executive view of managing this new workforce, and (2) for yourself personally, your flexibility/ability to market yourself as a one-person company if necessary.
Let’s look at three key points:
1. Create your personal brand. This concept is sometimes the hardest for executives to grasp. They typically don’t think of themselves as a “brand.” It has been proven that people who land the best opportunities are those who understand the value of marketing themselves.
The most important marketing message that you can relay to a prospective employer is who you are (your unique value proposition) and what you can do for them (focusing on their issues and needs).
2. Create your niche. It is easier to separate yourself from the masses by clarifying your expertise and showcasing it in your job search documents and interview materials. What we know is that every company has problems. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for executives to be able to solve those problems. Make it easy for the recruiter or hiring manager to see you as the go-to person for “X.”
Are you prepared to answer this question that almost always comes up in an interview? “How are you more qualified to do this job than the other applicants?”
3. Follow industry trends. Up to now you may have been sustaining an insular approach to your job and focusing only on your company. It’s time to evaluate what’s going on industry-wide, whether you intend to stay in your current industry or move on. Incorporate industry research into your job-search activities to find the trends. Joining online groups (LinkedIn is a great source for online forums and groups) and networking will also help you verify the information that is circulating about your industry and trends. This will help you circumvent concerns that may come up about key issues that are stumping your competitors.
Social networks are perfect forums to engage with people you might not have otherwise met. Establish connections, learn about the needs of others, and share your expertise as well. Building relationships is still essential in job search.
The writing is on the wall: the job market and career opportunities are changing!