Sunday, February 28, 2010

The New Normal

I’ve been participating in a conversation on on how the world of searching for new jobs has changed and how to define the “new normal” relative to career management and job searches. This discussion got me to thinking about the new normal and how it will play out in the world of work.

The first thing I did was Google “the new normal,” which yielded about 350,000 hits. When narrowed for “careers,” 128,000 hits emerged. The hits address everything from job search techniques by the unemployed to talent acquisition by companies. Clearly, the match of people to corporate positions and needs is of ongoing interest, even in a recession.

Two of the more interesting articles came from Stephanie Klein, of The Boomer Group, and Dan Finnigan, of Jobvite Blog. In a blog post about trends in the Denver employment market, Stephanie Klein noted that as companies begin to bring on additional talent, they are shifting in how they are finding candidates and what they’re looking for. In the “new normal, companies are seeking candidates who can have a direct and immediate impact on the bottom line.”

In a two part blog post, last December, Finnigan examined the new normal from the perspectives of both job seekers and employers. Finnigan began by noting that the new normal “means that we have to seriously rethink – and literally rework – much of what we do in business, including how we find, hire and manage people.” He noted that employers hire all the time; even in January 2009 – the worse month of job loss – when 741,000 jobs were lost, 4.4 million people were hired; many of these new hires were “strategic replacements” to bring in needed expertise and knowledge. In recruiting new hires in a recession or slow recovery, employers will focus on the highest quality candidates. In order to attract such candidates, referrals and relationships will be the preferred, low cost approach. These referrals and relationships will be created across the current and emerging social media platforms – LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter.

So what does this mean for the job seeker? According to Finnigan, “we are all jobseekers…all the time.” He mentions the need for “pro-active career management” where we’re “always looking toward the next assignment.” The key tool for this continuous career management? Networking – professional and social networking online, developing offline contacts, helping others, building a solid reputation. Moreover, we will need to continually “construct, discover and fuel” our networks; not relying on any one technology, but “weave” it into all we do.

So, as a continuous jobseeker that has to demonstrate bottom line impacts, what’s your career management strategy for the new normal? How will you let people know about the value you can provide prospective employers? What will be your new normal in a world of constant change?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lemonade Video

My friend, Dan Larson, pointed me to this inspiring video about folks turning lay-off lemons into creative lemonade. Check it out.

Can you take a pink slip and make it into a blank page?

Are you inspired by the stories in this video?

What can you put on your blank page?

How can you make lemonade?