How to “Retrenchment-proof” your Career
Last week, I explained why jobs today are no longer secure. This week, I would like to share some ideas on how you could try to ‘retrenchment-proof’ yourself.
1. Realise that your job is no longer guaranteed. It is a tough truth to accept, but it is no longer the responsibility of your company to look after your career path. Unless you are among the top 5% of company employees, do not expect them to seriously plan the next 10 years of your career for you. Today, the responsibility of our own careers rests solely on ourselves, so take off those blinkers and see what else is out there.
2. Stay relevant. The worst situation to be in is to suddenly realise your skillsets are no longer needed. So what if you are the best typist in the Secretarial Pool (younger readers, go ask your parents what that is) or the top Windows XP trouble-shooter (Microsoft discontinued that last year) – most knowledge and skillsets have expiry dates. So, (a) keep up to date with your skills (via training) and (b) see where the future trends are heading and try stay ahead of the curve.
3. Monitor the health of your own industry – is your business a sunset or sunrise industry? Will there be a need for your services/products in 5-8 years’ time? (eg, ‘Point and Shoot’ Cameras) Has your product/service been discontinued in the US/Europe/mature markets? (eg, the old-world Newspaper or Magazine business) Is there a new technology that could replace what your company is doing? (eg, LinkedIn replacing recruitment firms) Take a good hard look at where your sector is heading and take the necessary actions to switch industry or to ‘retool’ (more about this in future articles) if you can.
4. Develop a Career Strategy. Don’t just blindly float around, led by the fickle winds. Know what your strengths are, what you are best at and what you love to do. Know where you would like to be in 8 years’ time and take bold steps to get there. (At 31, I knew I wanted to be a Headhunter, so I actually took a painful pay-cut (“my tuition-fee”) to get into the industry) I will be publishing a book on Career Strategy at the end of the year which will show you how you could to do this.
5. Stay networked. Make friends with Head-hunters who call you and stay on their radar. Do you have an updated and professional LinkedIn Profile? Have you actively marketed your Linkedin Profile by connecting with others in your industry? Do you know your competitors or more importantly – do they know you? Do you have a “Personal Brand” or reputation in your Industry?
These are just some of the ways you could try to supercharge your career and avoid being redundant. You need to take an ACTIVE ROLE in managing your Career. Speak to your Mentor, engage to a Career Coach or tTalk to your headhunter.