Waiting on the World to Change
By: Dr. Helen Ofosu
Waiting on the World to Change
Right now, America is experiencing a stand-off between those who refuse to accept change, and a global economy that thrives on it.
Manufacturing in America has been in decline for decades. The country is littered with hundreds of abandoned factories standing as silent, crumbling homages to an era when all one needed to make a decent living was a willingness to work long hours and the ability to numb themselves to the monotony of an assembly line.
But those times are gone. Today, those jobs have been exported to cheaper labour markets. Others have been replaced by robotic arms that never complain, get sick, or rally other workers to unionize.
Wait for change … or be the change
If you know what it feels like to be rendered obsolete by technology or to have your job outsourced from under your feet, you have two choices:
Either, as John Mayer sings it, “wait on the world to change,” (which I don’t recommend) or you can change to meet the new requirements for success in the current labour market.
I know … easier said than done.
After losing a job, it can take weeks of scouring through web and newspaper listings to find a position that looks like it could be a good fit for your skills. Then, of course, you have to compete with a few hundred applicants to get an interview. And if you manage to get to that point, botching a single question could end the whole process.
Charles Darwin, the British natural scientist responsible for the theory of evolution once wrote, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
Want to get hired or promoted? Get help!
Those who best manage change don’t often do it alone. Yet, most people who lose their jobs seem to believe that the journey to rewarding and fulfilling employment has to be a long and arduous trip.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t. You might be excellent at what you do, but that doesn’t mean you’re an expert at marketing your skills to employers. It’s why bands use promoters, actors have agents, and Fortune 500 CEOs don’t handle marketing themselves … you need to be able to recognize your strengths as well as your “not-so-strengths.”
Using a career coach provides you with more confidence when re-entering the labour market, and helps to recognize and leverage your skills to increase overall employability. That means less time looking for a job, and more time in one.
Be Fussy. Your future depends on it.
But all career coaches aren’t created equal, and the industry itself is unregulated. That means you have to be very careful about the coach you choose. It’s important to do your homework and ask specific questions about their credentials and experience. For example, if you’re trying to start your own business, speaking to a coach whose experience was gained as the manager of a small retail store (plus a few days of coaching training) might not get you the results you’re looking for.
When I’m asked about my experience, I’m confident that professionally and academically, I can meet the needs of most of my clients. But if I believe I can’t provide you with the advice and guidance you need, I can usually find someone who can.
It’s a relationship, not a marriage
It’s also important that career coaching doesn’t last forever. It takes four years (or more) to get a PhD in most subjects, so unless you’re trying to become the next Richard Branson or Bill Gates, be wary of coaches who are motivated to keep all their clients with them over the long term; they may be more motivated by your money than by your success.
My basic package begins with a simple client assessment, followed by three additional sessions where the results of the test are used to assist me in providing strategic guidance to help you get your career on track. I offer more comprehensive packages, but they are tailored to your specific career objectives. If you’re working on ascending to the upper echelons of an international business, four sessions might not cut it.
Need advice? I’m here to help!
You can wait on the world to change, or you can decide to fasten your seat-belt and change with it. Just know that if you’re prepared to do the latter, you don’t need “go it alone.”
If you’re ready to get back to work or earn a promotion, I encourage you to check out my bio/professional credentials and the range of services I offer on my website. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
More than career coaching, it’s career psychology®.
I/O Advisory Services – Building Resilient Careers and Organizations.
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