The Success Matrix
While I’m first and foremost a writer, I also serve as the executive director of the International Association of Employment Web Sites, the trade organization for jobs boards, career portals and social media sites. That role has given me a unique perspective on the changing world of work in the United States and the new strategies and tactics required for success in today’s job market.
I’ve now shared that knowledge in a new book that’s just been published. Called, The Success Matrix, it includes dozens of short, easy-to-read articles organized into two sections:
While admitting to some bias, I don’t think there’s a better guide to job search and career success available anywhere. And at just $14.95, it’s a bargain, as well.
Change the Epilogue of Your Job Search
The new scourge of job seekers is serial unemployment. You fight through the frustration and anxiety of one job search, land a new position and six months or a year later, you’re handed another pink slip and find yourself right back where you started from. It’s an increasingly prevalent plight for white collar and blue collar workers alike. There is a way to protect yourself, however, if you change the epilogue to your job search.
A recent news article recounted this increasingly familiar tale in today’s job market:
“After being unemployed for nearly two years, having been let go during the throes of the financial crisis from his job doing marketing for engineering and construction firms, the Greenwich resident landed a position with a company in New Haven.
“But since December, when the company restructured and eliminated that position, Zucccerella has been back to scouring the job listing search engine Indeed.com, mining his social network for leads and going on interviews that lead to the dreaded response, ‘you have an excellent background, but …'”
I don’t for a minute diminish the pathos of this fellow’s situation, but it’s also important that we learn from his mistake. What was that? He thought his job search was over when he landed a job.
In today’s unsettled and rapidly changing business environment, no job is forever and many jobs will last but a year or two … no matter what employers may say. It’s not that they’re being dishonest, but rather that they simply don’t have a reliable crystal ball.
They can’t predict what the financial health of their organization will be or what kind of work it will need to have done in 12 or 24 months any more than they can tell you who will win the Super Bowl. As Bob Dylan sang way back in 1962, “The times they are a-changin’. And, that means the longevity of jobs is shrinking..
So, how can you protect yourself in such an unsettled environment? Change what happens after you land a job. Rewrite the epilogue to your job search so that it no longer celebrates the end of something, but instead, inaugurates the beginning of something else.
The Start of Something New
The end of your job search is no longer the end of your quest to gain employment. It is, instead, the beginning of your preparation for your next job search. Or to put it even more bluntly, tomorrow’s job search begins on the first day of your new job.
That’s not being disloyal. It’s being prudent. Your next search may not happen for a year or two or three, but it will happen. It may occur because you decide to look for something better or because your employer decides to cut costs. But regardless of when and how it happens, the search itself is all but inevitable.
How should you prepare for it? By starting to work on the fitness of your career. Call it a New Year’s resolution if you’d like, but make it a personal priority to build up your occupational strength, reach and endurance. And, start right now.
There are several facets to a healthy career, and the key to sustained employment is to work on each of them all of the time. As with a physical fitness program, for example, you can’t build a healthy body by simply exercising your cardiovascular system and ignoring your respiratory system, muscles and bones.
Similarly, limiting your career fitness program to adding expertise in your occupational field – the “heart of your career” – will improve that important aspect of your worklife but leave everything else – your peer connections, ancillary skills, and environmental awareness – in a weakened state.
That’s true especially if you are in transition. The “come as you are” job market ended with the Great Recession. You can no longer land a new job with the skills you had in your old job. You need to be better than that. And, the only way to get better is to practice career fitness while you’re looking for a job. Yes, that’s a lot of work, but it beats being out of work by a long shot.
The conventional wisdom is that a job search is an episodic experience that occurs only rarely in a person’s career. In the 21st Century world of work, however, job searching is a continuous process. The key to success, therefore, is to treat the end of one search as the beginning of the next. Or, to put it another way, the epilogue of today’s search is the preamble for tomorrow’s.
Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com
P.S. Please tell your coworkers and friends about WEDDLE’s Newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.
P./S.S. Read my interview with CNBC on resume white lies and exaggerations. It’s available here.
Get My WorkStrong Blog By Email
I write a biweekly blog in addition to this newsletter. As you know, the newsletter focuses on job search success. The blog, on the other hand, is all about career success. About how to build a career that’s powerful enough to increase both the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work. That’s why I call it WorkStrong.
The world of work has changed dramatically in the U.S. And, that change is permanent. So, once you gain employment, you could just as easily find yourself challenged to stay that way … unless you know and practice the new rules for career security.
If you want to learn what those rules are and how to put them to work for you, sign up for my free blog. It’ll be delivered to you by email. Simply click here to register.
You’re Worth It!
Most of us begin a new year with resolutions for self-improvement. We start diets or physical fitness programs. We commit to spending more time with our families or doing something for others.
But what about our careers? Shouldn’t we be taking care of them, as well? We spend one-third of our day on-the-job, so don’t we deserve more than a (shrinking) paycheck?
Absolutely! And one of the best ways to do that is by reading my books for career success. They include:
Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System. This book introduces a complete regimen of activities that will help you successfully compete for and hang onto the job of your dreams. Its one-of-a-kind program not only tells you what to do, but how to do it and how often.
Recognizing Richard Rabbit. This fable for adults will entertain and delight you and help you out of the boxes that keep you from becoming the champion inside you. It is a novel and engaging way to recognize the talented person you are meant to be.
The Career Activist Republic. This blockbuster of a book provides a provocative yet positive assessment of the changing world of work in the American economy and describes an innovative strategy that will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities in this new environment.
Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites
The American Staffing Association was kind enough to call me the “Zagat” of the online employment industry. And, just as Tim and Nina Zagat used their classic guides to identify the best restaurants, I have published a guide to the best employment sites on the Web.
Called Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites on the Web, it’s my pick of the top job boards, career portals and professional networking sites on the Internet.
Every site is profiled with a complete consumer’s guide to its features, services and resources. That way, you can shop smart and pick the sites that will work best for you.
While admitting to some bias, I think Job Nation is the single best way to use the Internet to find a new or better job. And, it retails for just $14.95.