I have spent my fair share of time helping extremely confident people put a strategy together to get a job. With the business landscape being recreated in real-time, all companies are reacting and retooling to stay viable. The reality is many businesses are reducing their workforce, and with an uncertain future, it is a tough time to be looking for a job.
The balance of power has shifted from the employee to the employer. This new paradigm requires a new way of thinking necessary to be successful in a job search. It may sound totally Zen, but it starts with the job seeker understanding if they have the two most important traits needed going forward- resilience and versatility. Resilience and versatility are needed in how you view the overall search, the paths and steps to take, and how you redefine and focus on the value you bring.
Broadening your search to include an adjacent industry in technology will allow you to use your current skill set where there are growth and an increasing need for talent. Health-Tech, Ed-Tech, e-commerce, and cybersecurity are all experiencing renewed focus with the need for new technology, products, and delivery channels. The next decision point could be deciding to stay in the same space at diminished capacity for an undetermined amount of time. As middle management positions continue to disappear, a displaced tech manager may decide they need to scale it back and do development work or take an outsourced role with a different level of compensation. When your goal is to create income on a monthly basis, this is where you may have to be. The pivot, of course, will push your growth edge and increase your opportunity skill- set. Consider movement towards a field where there is a greater need than where you are now. Data science immediately comes to mind as companies will be hyper-focused on mining their data. Having the data literacy that allows a company to uncover and understand trends will be an especially relevant skillset.
No matter which path you take, your focus will need to be on defining what technical and personal values you bring to a company. Are you innately creative, have you been through stressful times in the past with lessons learned, are you calm under pressure, are you a leader among your peers, all of these examples provide value to a company above and beyond a specific job. Your goal is to become a critical asset.
With the future of work in disarray, coupled with a competitive job market, getting and proactively conveying those skills that are needed is paramount or you may be facing the possibility of a protracted search. Sometimes you have to take a hard look at yourself to decide if that is who you really are. My gut feeling now is – make yourself the talent everybody needs – a critical asset.
Scott Simon is the CEO of Better Hire. He has hired and recruited top tech talent in Alabama for over 30 years.