The way you look for and progress in a job changed dramatically in 2008 (there was a recession if you weren’t aware). Jobs became scarce, 401(k) matches were eliminated, property values plummeted and widespread panic ensued.
These drastic changes altered the market and your career, and you need to be in front of the change before you’re left behind.
This is becoming a slow realization to many people who can’t find a steady job. A few decades ago, a college degree was a surefire way to land a great job. Throw in a prestigious school on the plaque and you could eventually be CEO.
Unfortunately, that trend slowly became obsolete climaxing with the Recession. Suddenly, more and more people put off the pains of the job hunt to get more education in hopes that landing a Masters will land them a better job.
College graduates still fare better economically, but it doesn’t mean it’s the golden ticket to a job you want. The rate of new applicants in the workforce with a college degree grows at 4% annually.
Thus, you need something unique to stand out. YOU!
Find an area in your market where you can stand out. Defy the stereotype. Discover new skills and achievements outside the classroom that show you are an A-player.
Being an accountant, employers were impressed that I also wrote a blog, made videos, started up a podcast & more. I turned the stereotypical accountant perception on its head to stand out in my field. It led to a couple job offers just from that and what I’ve learned from it.
There’s a clash going on between the old and young. Older workers, due to the recession and longer life expectancy, are staying in their jobs longer. This, according to Reid Hoffman, is clogging up the “escalator” for moving up the corporate ladder.
Younger people are stuck at the bottom of the chain in lower-paying positions. This resulted in one thing, more young people are job-hopping around like rabbits.
Older workers pride themselves on being loyal to their company for decades. That same loyalty isn’t found with the younger generation as they constantly are looking for new challenges and more opportunities.
I’m not a big fan of job-hopping, but if you spend too long not being challenged, there’s no reason you shouldn’t move on to greener pastures.
Forget what your parents and older workers will think of you, go find something that will hone your talent and challenge you and allow you room to fail. Failure is the key to building a growth mindset as well as gaining the mindset of an entrepreneur.
The worst trend from the 2008 fallout: Settling. I’ve heard it so many times I get nauseous, “Just be happy you have a job.” I’m grateful for having my job, but that’s not the same.
The problem is you don’t hear the employee say this, usually you hear their family and friends say it. The employee hates his work, the commute, Smelly Joe in the cubicle next to him, but instead of supporting him/her to find something new, they repeat that terrible phrase.
Settling doesn’t mean happiness, it means you’ve reached a place in your life/career where you feel that there’s not much more to strive for so you stop reaching.
In a way settling = quitting.
“I guess I’m okay at my job, the economy’s bad so I’ll just hang out here for a couple more years.”
People tell themselves this for YEARS. You only get a select few years in this life and you’re fine throwing some away!
Recently, my wife Sam and I were stuck in a rut in Charlotte, NC. We had foolishly rented a condo that was above our price point, we didn’t love the city as we did in college, and we hated our jobs. We decided to find our next adventure and packed and moved to a bigger city, Dallas, TX. It took many months of work and stress, but we weren’t going to settle, we didn’t complain, we changed.
The company I left was a very old-fashioned company meaning heads-down cubicle work, bureaucracy galore, and tons of employees that have been there for decades (doing similar work as myself, a recent college grad).
While I was saying goodbye, many kept saying to me “You’re lucky you’re getting out of here.” Who was saying this? The people who had been at the company for decades! I want to scream at them, “Stop sealing your fate at this company, change something!” They’ll continue to putter through getting mediocre salaries and crumb-size raises because they settled.
The career landscape is changing as we speak. Change your mindset from being a heads-down “employee” and start thinking as a career “entrepreneur.” Take control of your career.
Have you seen these shifts in the job environment? What are your thoughts on people settling and not pursuing their passions?
Picture by FreeDigitalPhotos.
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