The Times They Are A-Changin’

“Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’” – Bob Dylan

Here is what came to my mind when I read Richard N. Bolles book “What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016.” Mr. Bolles’ first chapter provides an excellent start that can help those who are unemployed to readjust their mindset when seeking employment. Having worked in a back-to-work program, I found that advice to be not only practical, but crucial. As business competition increases globally, employers are revving up their gears to be one step ahead. Employers need to know, and see, that a potential employee can keep up and change gears with them.

Mr. Bolles advises that job seekers should know what they are up against, so they can change their strategies. Employees face challenges like a volatile economy and the mean by which employers search for workers. Job seeker’s ability to adjust to the market’s needs and find employment is highlighted in Mr. Jeff Selingo’s article on Linkedin entitled “Wanted in College Graduates: Tolerance for Ambiguity.” Mr. Selingo stated, that in essence, employers want to see if an individual “could cope with the unknown on a daily basis.” When you look at the global economy, the use of technology, specifically robots, is increasing. Many individuals are barely able to pay their bills, their livelihoods is already an unknown on a daily basis!

Yet, you know what’s really crazy? In his book, Mr. Bolles states that “There are over 8 million employment vacancies available each month”! How is that possible? It may well be that those resistant to change are like the character “Hem” in the story of “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. If you have a moment, the video “Who Moved My Cheese” on YouTube, it’s the first step to appreciating the need to embrace change. (I’ll discuss more on this in a future post)There must be some truth to these millions of vacancies because a recent Dismal Scientist article on August 26, 2015 entitled “U.S. Employment Outlook: On Pace for 3 Million Jobs” stated that employers added 215,000 jobs.

There are some excellent books and sites that help individuals improve their resumes, interview skills, and other work-related attributes. The most important tool job seekers need to update is their thinking, skills, particularly their approach to job hunting.  Within an ever changing economic climate, individuals can no longer approach job hunting, as they have in the past. The PriceWaterhouseCoopers network provides a booklet entitled “The future of work: A journey to 2022” that emphasizes needs for “flexibility” from employers and employees  moving forward when pursuing talent and work, respectively. One statement the booklet makes is the notion that “there will be a major shift away from the thinking that we learn one profession, have one job and stay in it for decades,” adding, “Contract employment will be king. Full-time jobs will become obsolete.” What new approaches and mindset should job seekers develop? That will be the topic for a further discussion.

Yep, “wherever you roam…admit the waters around you have grown and accept it that soon…better start swimmin’ or…sink like a stone…”

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