The Great Recession has shown a harsh spotlight on thousands of employees displaced from work for a variety of reasons: dying or failed industries, rising business costs, failure to embrace new technology, production or market shifts, and more.
Many unemployed workers faced an even harsher reality when they looked for new jobs and found what worked well for them in the past was now an ineffective approach. More than ever, job seekers and career planners must embrace the characteristics of adaptability in order to survive in the job market.
One area that changed the most for job seekers is a focus on skill sets versus credentials. Previously, a job seeker would present something like a degree, diploma, certification, or years of experience to an employer with an expectation that a job offer would follow. However, in today's global economy and with the rapid pace of technology, skill sets are a recruitment focus.
Why the difference? Credentials are simply titles or descriptions given by a third party, but diverse and specialized skill sets indicate a worker's ability to adapt as the job or industry changes over time. The ideal job seeker is able to separate their skill sets from their credentials, (which still have meaning) and list them both.
As you plan for your career, keep in mind that increasing your education and expanding your skill sets may be the best way to reduce your chances of being displaced in the future. The pace of technology also indicates that once you begin work, you must continue to stay ahead of the curve - continue your education and join professional groups, and keep increasing your skills.
Consider these three steps to increase your own job adaptability:
Create a self-vision:, Create an idea of who you want to become, and begin working towards that. Continue to review your self-vision as your skills increase. Embrace a lifelong learning attitude.
Build a support system: Pull together a group invested in your success. This creates accountability, solidarity and leadership. A support system allows you to transform and become the self-vision you have identified. Your support system could, for example, include: mentors, guidance counselors, and WorkSource Oregon job counselors.
Read, listen, and become inspired: Shut off the television and read about, or listen to, subjects and people who have made it to where you see yourself going. You may discover a new love for learning because it's fueled by the passion of your dreams.