Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Enhancing Your Value: Staying Employable in 2011 & Beyond

A look at job advertisements may be a startling revelation: How is this New Economy everyone is talking about going to impact us? Armed with an arsenal of digital equipment, how will we brave the new world order that is driven by compression technology and information overload, and assured by a false sense of virtual communication?

Why is it people are not going anywhere with the abundance of education and qualification? A fresh graduate – of the Generation Y status - may be disillusioned that his/her degree may not be fully recognized for immediate employability. Generation X may have enjoyed the fruits of its labour, while Generation Y struggles to establish its identity. Thus, Generation Y opts for more aggressive, digital platforms to build their online identities and branding. Social media becomes a means to actively network and build degrees of connections. The lure and allure of being a successful, home-based entrepreneur (or designer of a runaway, bestselling, iPhone or iPad apps) or workplace intrapreneur become the de facto and de rigueur standards for ascending the social ladder. So, is this high-technology approach also high-touch?

Generation X is not resting on its laurels, for it cannot afford to. Once you are past 35 years old, your perceived value may be diminished. Although it is not appropriate today to ask personal data like age (for it is deemed discriminating), we know the reality is a dark cloud of pessimism that can ill afford disenchanted, jaded, cynical, disenfranchised and lethargic employees. Unless you thrive on paranoia, and do something about it – it is business as usual – which is not a good sign. Business as unusual is the new norm: passionate, driven by purpose, collaborative, and focused on value.

Perhaps, it is time now to rebuild one’s branding and value. Using marketing principles of Positioning, Product, Price and Place as guideposts, how do we enhance our value? How do we create attention, and become attractive despite our unavoidable laughter lines and age spots? How do we promote our wisdom of hindsight, and integrate our insights with our foresights.

We need to engage our mindsets for a future of possibilities. We should possess a positive, open-minded attitude and activate our skills and knowledge. If experience matters, how do you use it to perform with mastery those skills that you used to be valued for? Demonstrate the skills and expertise you have, so these do not become redundant and retired like sunset industries and professions.

What does not attract - distracts us. What does not add value, devalues us. Choose.

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