Today’s employment environment is drastically different than it was for our parents and continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Most notably, there is less stability. Companies come and go quickly these days. They are sold, reorganize, go out of business, and merge with competitors. There are also trends toward using contract labor instead of permanent staff to reduce costs, maintain flexibility, and adjust for seasonal demands.
Technology continues to advance at an phenomenal pace, considerably and permanently changing the employment landscape. Many of today’s hot jobs did not even exist 5 years ago. A decade ago, you would not have heard of iOS Developers, Social Media Experts, or Zumba Instructors!
Consider the future, now! Ten years from now, many of today’s jobs will have vanished. Taxi dispatchers will be eliminated as drivers accept calls from their smartphones. Grocery store clerks will be completely replaced by self-checkout services. Social Media Experts could be a thing of the past as today’s teen population, more versed in Social Media than the English language, hit the job market.
What does this mean for you? Plan now and strategize for career continuity! Do not take for granted that your job is stable. Even if your job is stable, you may have personal reasons to move on. You should always be “looking” for your next opportunity. Here are some key strategies:
- Network, network, network — Nurture and maintain relationships, make new contacts, and definitely do not burn any bridges. Operate in lukewarm job search mode pretty much when you are employed. You never know when you will need to turn up the heat. It is much easier to maintain networking channels than to build new ones.
- Regularly update your résumé — You never know when you will need a résumé in a pinch. Keep your résumé current at all times so you have it at your fingertips. On a regular basis, record career accomplishments in a Word document or notebook and incorporate them into your resume periodically. One strategy might be to update your resume quarterly, at the start of every season. In Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, revise your resume so that it is polished and ready.
- Stay in the know — Do not get caught off guard. Keep current on the latest trends in and outside your industry. Know where there are potential opportunities, and keep a keen eye on the types of jobs that will vanish.
Change is inevitable. Be ready for it and embrace it when it comes.