Interviews with Neil Patrick, owner of 40PlusCareerGuru.
PART 3: How to survive and thrive in a global economy.
Technology is driving the world towards a globally interconnected, multi-national economy. For better or worse, this change is happening quickly and will dramatically impact employment opportunities. Personal financial security will rest, in large part, on the ability of individuals to prepare and adapt as these changes take place.
This is the third part of an interview with Neil Patrick who gives excellent tips for jobseekers as the employment landscapes causes some industries to disappear and others flourish. Neal is founder and owner of 40PlusCareerGuru an online job and career website for mature jobseekers that focuses on surviving and thriving the global jobs crisis. This is a “must-visit-often” website.
Q. As we move to a global economy, what can job-seekers do to avoid future unemployment?
I think that it is almost inevitable that however good you are in the world today, we should all expect and plan for periods of unemployment. Why do so few people do this? If we were running a business we’d expect to see contingency plans to deal with the most likely threats and risks.
So why shouldn’t the individual do the same thing?
If we make some plans to allow for this, how much more easily would we sleep at night!
Instead, 99% of people seem to just hope and trust to good fortune that they won’t have to face this situation. Big mistake in my view!
It’s doubly confusing when the things we can do to mitigate this threat are actually not especially difficult.
Here’s my top 5:
- Invest in your personal brand value. Build your network. Have an online presence which positions you as an expert in your field. Have a professional rewrite of your resume. Choose to read books that will enhance your specialist knowledge in your field…as well as things outside your specialism. And find a good career coach. If you are happy to spend money on the gym and a personal trainer for your body, why are you not doing the same thing for your career?
- Ensure you build financial resources that can cushion you for an extended period of unemployment. Everyone’s different, but I think a sensible goal is to have sufficient resources available so that you can comfortably endure at least one full year without any income. If necessary scale down your financial outgoings as much as possible NOW.
- Make sure your IT and digital media skills are up to date and that you can demonstrate you know how to use Twitter, Linkedin etc. I don’t mean that you know how to view them, I mean that you know how to USE them effectively.
- Position yourself so that if disaster strikes, you have something to turn to which can generate even a little income while you re-establish yourself. Look at your leisure interests and current contact network for example and see what opportunities you might find through these avenues.
- Start thinking about how you could turn your employed skills into a self-employed version. This isn’t always possible, but if you think outside the box a little, it can be surprising how many valuable skills we have, which we never really placed any value on.
I can imagine some people reading this might raise their eyebrows and think, ‘that’s great – if only’. But the point is I am describing an ideal here. Even if you only achieved 20% of what I describe above in the next 12 months, you’ll be significantly better protected and more secure than you are today.
So to sum up, the key points I’m trying to get over are:
- Globalisation will continue to erode high paying jobs in the US and Europe regardless of the strength of the economic recovery, assuming there is one.
- Invest in yourself – you cannot rely on your employer to look after YOUR future.
- Decide if you want to accept the personal compromises that working globally will require of you. If you don’t like them, stay away from multi-nationals!
- Choose employers not on size, but reputation and market sector.
- Don’t expect that a large organisation will ever be able to successfully overcome its problems with communications, silos, motivation etc. If this fact demotivates you, again stay away and seek to develop your career in the SME sector [Small and medium enterprises].