I was on a commuter train this weekend and I couldn’t help over hearing three people who were rather loud about the difficulties they were having finding a job and getting hired .
One of them was very agitated over the fact they held a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Now it wasn’t my place to interject in their conversation however, this isn’t a new story, or their story, it will be the story of the next decade perhaps even longer.
It doesn’t matter to me if you are 20 or 60 years old!
The same rules apply every job opportunity is about each of us adding value to an organization.
If you don’t know how you are going to add value to a job posting, why are you applying?
In fact many 20 somethings with little experience are no different than a 50 something with a plethora of experience.
Now history and perhaps some logic would have us believe that the younger generation needs to work their way up the ladder.
I would be great to work side by side with a tenured executive who is happy to mentor them and help them accelerate their career.
The 40-50 something may have convinced themselves that they are entitled to a role given their past experiences.
Six Reasons People Don’t Get The Job!
Not Everyone Likes These First Six
- The world has moved on with respect to your experience or you’ve graduated with an education that is not relevant.
- The value proposition you offer as a candidate is not adequate to support a disruptive innovator to stay relevant beyond the 21st Quite simply you need to have stronger competitive advantages.
- Business maturity (not age), executive presence and interpersonal/team behaviours don’t meet their criteria.
- You may talk a great game, and just because you’ve held a C position, you may not come as someone who has delivered at the level you would be expected to deliver at.
- During interviews candidates forget themselves and stop selling, you haven’t shown enough compelling reasons why you should be hired.
- If I a recruiter can’t tell in the first 50 words of your introductory letter why they should call you, they likely won’t.
Welcome to the 21st century where what you use to do or what you learned isn’t worth anything.
If you can’t add value back to the organization by way of market share, revenue growth, innovation, leadership, profits and a plan that paints the future over the next ten years to accelerate growth.
And yes you will need to demonstrate all of the above in some capacity.
Now if you’ve been an executive for twenty plus years , you’ve been brought up in an era where you are used to short-term thinking knowing full well that a long-term planning process greater than a couple of years is pushing the envelope. Well you are right, that’s kind of that’s how it use to be and it may still be that way for organizations that are still trying to compete with a 20th century business model.
However those are not the rules of the game for companies operating in the 21st century.
The young executives, on the other hand who work for disruptive innovators will tell you; “yes, we completely get the short-term behaviours as being important in generating profits, but we are putting a lot more planning into future of the company years ahead, not months or quarters ahead. “ Why? Because we have to create the future of technology, how we need to work and interact with consumers is the first thing on their mind, not next week’s sales numbers, that’s really old school.
As You know I receive about 2-3 messages a week from people requesting advice, direction, contacts and help to get back into the job market. I don’t mind helping when I have the time.
Nevertheless here is what I have learned about the job market and why so many people are struggling with getting hired.
Six Thoughts To Steer
- If you are trying to sell your past experience, current education as a means to demonstrate how you can add value.Forget it, everyone is doing the same thing there is no differentiation in your experience or education.
You should step back and decide which companies you want to work for and decide how you can add value.
Hint; be forward thinking where is that organization heading?
Where should it be going next? How can you help them get there?
Write out a brief business plan of that target customer, why do they need it? How can you help them get there faster.
- Are you competitive advantage or threat to the growth of their business?I’ve run in to a lot of people who are currently using the jargon of referring to themselves as disruptors.
Well let’s see are you one?
A. What do you know about the future of business that makes you a competitive advantage?
Other than that change will be continuous and you see block-chain and AI as emerging to further change the market?
What else do you know? Have you actually worked on any of these?
B. Have you personally started or led a brand that has created a new market by picking off a segment where no one else recognized the opportunity.
And now this business is taking that segment of the market by storm.
No! Then you are not a disruptor, at least not yet.
C. Are you willing to step down from your expectations on a role, title and income?
No! Then you are likely not ready to join a disruptive company.
D. Have you thought about or are willing to return to school perhaps learn a trade, new skill (coding), formally upgrade your knowledge of marketing?
No! Once again we have another obstacle.
- What you should know about job hunting today.A. Job hunting is a skill.
To start off with if you are only applying to postings, you are wasting a great deal of time waiting for a reply.
B. Networking at any age is very important.
Now who you network with is even more important.
C. The first 100 words in your resume?
This is all marketing, personal selling and positioning.
D. If you are an experienced executive and out of work expect a month of hard searching and networking for every $10,000 in salary.
Why such a low number because many positions you may have qualified for in the past are no longer there.
- What’s Your Career Quotient?If you see yourself in one of these boxes what if anything do you need to change to both stay gainfully employed and make yourself marketable.
No one is at the top of their game once you get to the top right hand side of this matrix it’s time to revaluate your skills and experiences.
Stay fresh and relevant.
(Career matrix from an excerpt in my upcoming book )
Need More Time To Develop:
You are new to the position and need to improve your skills and impact in your role.
Strong Leader Creating Change:
You have impact and influence, all eyes are on you and when you have something to say others are listening.
Highly Strategic Business Executive:
You may be at the top of your game however don’t let that blind you into believing that you are invincible.
Stuck in the past:
It is my view that 70% of workers usually wish for no change and how things use to be. It is either time to exit and find a new gig or change your game plan.
No one is immune form change and especially changes that can impact your career. The real challenge is to be continuously aware that if you are not growing on a personal level gaining new knowledge you will likely get left behind.
- Move away from this idea of entitlement because of past experience or education and move toward brand building.
Just because you held a “C” level once or twice doesn’t guarantee you another post, lose the entitlement behaviour. Always be prepared to start over. Far too many people over evaluate and over state what they can do and have done in their careers. The problem is it may no longer be valid.
For graduates it might be a little easier but the days of getting out of school with an MBA and trying to get a starting pay of $70 to $100K are over and reserved for a very few elite. If you were a brand what would be your competitive values that would draw my company to do business with you. Think more creatively and be willing to take the jobs that are not always appealing.
- Keep in mind that going forward no job is forever.You need to look at yourself as a human being with skills and you will work for the bidder that offers the highest return for your investment.
Which primarily other than income it must be what are you learning.
What roles do you play and will those skills be transferable to the next job.
- Want to get hired? Be at the top of your personal game!Not unlike business your personal brand matters. You either nurture as you would a business culture or risk falling behind.
Learning always learning about what’s new, important and how to deliver it will improve your chances for success.
You have only two obstacles yourself and not taking the time to improve and be at the top of your game.
My name is George Minakakis I am the CEO of Inception Retail Group and I lead retail brands into the New Economy.
I have led retail chains as a CEO, worked in the USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Australia and Europe.
Author of two business books, Keynote speaker and Advisor to business.