FORT LAUDERDALE – Many years ago, in the age when jobs offering pensions were plentiful and job stability was standard for most industries, workers who were focused on becoming a specialist in their field were usually called “someone with a one-track mind”. In today’s job market, workers strive for the specialized mindset to increase their value to the company to offset the suffering that comes with the perplexing question of “what if”. Believe it or not, that “what if” is constantly on the mind of the average “Millennial Worker”, as in the question “What if I lose my job today?”
It has gotten to the point of anxiety and insecurity where a recent article on Jobing.com reflected on how today’s corporate professional faces the daunting question of whether or not they should even take their vacation days due to fears that their job may not be there when they return. The job market is in a constant state of flux and the only way to remain competitive is to leverage your Knowledge, Skills and Abilities and apply your focus in the right direction to attain your desired results.
Leveraging your knowledge, skills and abilities gives you the power to weather life’s uncertainties. Even if you find a job that appears stable for the most part with an upward mobility “promote from within” culture, the problem is that many workers come up “wanting more” and feel the need to constantly redefine the meaning of job satisfaction, especially by the time they hit their mid-career point. For most working professionals, by mid-career your formal education is relatively static unless you are required to take continuing education classes to maintain your professional title. Your skills or work-related competencies and abilities and your talents and strengths are dynamic elements of the Knowledge + Skills + Abilities = Competitive Leverage equation.
The lack of job satisfaction or the feeling of “wanting more” arises from the “mind-chatter” or the constant need to perform an internal assessment of the dynamic elements of Skills and Abilities, which can change in the blink of an eye especially if you’re assigned to new position in your company or you’re transferred to different department. For many working professionals, the frequency of this “mind-chatter” or internal assessment has been linked to the level of anxiety, uncertainty and instability they feel in the workplace.
If you plan to make a job change very soon, there is never a better time than NOW to make a checklist of your “Knowledge, Skills and Abilities” to weather the transition effectively and gain competitive leverage in the job marketplace. Here is a short list of questions you should write down and present detailed answers:
*Do you have 6 months salary on reserve for life’s uncertainties and emergencies?
*Do you need to take any continuing education classes before you start to look for a job?
*Did you write down at least three workplace stories that highlight your accomplishments that you can share in your next job interview to build camaraderie with the Interviewer, in the event you get an job interview opportunity in the next 24 hours?
*Did you make a checklist of your areas of skills and abilities, related to your current workplace competencies?
If you are seeking a job change, you need to hone your social adaptive skills. Your technical proficiency such as on-the-job training and education for the most part are relatively easy to assess upon review of your resume and education credentials, however employers desperately want to know about your social adaptive skill set (i.e. can you function in large groups, can you manage a team effectively, etc.) are investing into personality assessment technology and group interviews to assess the adaptive skills of potential job candidates. They want to see how well you are able to manage effective working relationships and work cooperatively with fellow employees. For many Fortune 500 companies, effective performance especially at the senior management level depends on stable emotional competencies such as self-confidence, initiative and conflict management skills. If you’re just starting a new job search, it’s important to remember the role of your technical skills and adaptive skills — both play a major role in job targeting. Based on a recent article on Monster.com (“Free Career Assessment Tools“), 7 out of 10 employers are investing in technology for assessment of job candidates’ emotional competencies. Employers are conducting interviews in groups of ten or more candidates with emphasis on group interaction in small “pods” reminiscent of a“company retreat” to build emotional bonds that increase creativity, self-confidence and optimism — well before you’re even hired for the job. Your knowledge, skills and abilities each have a role to play in discovering your Authentic Vocation.