Innovative Career Thinking & Job Search Strategies for the New Year
The annual CareerPro Conference, hosted by Career Professionals of Canada, was as always – enlightening. When you bring together bright minds, magic happens.
What will interest job seekers, of all levels and backgrounds, is the future of careers and the changes required to excel in our evolving world of work.To succeed – in almost anything long-term – innovation is required. Innovation spurs from the need for change or because change itself demands it.
For job seekers and workers, transformation in job search approaches and career thinking is required to keep up with new work requirements. Here is a short breakdown of 6 innovative strategies (and insights) from the conference that can help YOU with your current and future job search and career endeavors:
Proactive Career Self-Development
JP Michel of SparkPath delivered an innovative overview on how we need to become challenge researchers to support our careers. He advises that we stop focusing on the jobs we want and instead put our energies towards identifying the challenges we want to solve, by becoming proactive career self-developers!
Job seekers are encouraged to shift thinking away from ‘what jobs should I do?” to ‘what challenges exist in the world that interest me?’. Once a challenge is identified and clarified, measures can be put into place to cultivate self-awareness and align skills with these opportunities.Jobs may change, but world challenges remain.
Age of the Talent Economy
According to Lisa Taylor of The Challenge Factory, focus is shifting to who is doing the work…. not the how, where, or why. With a rise in freelance and entrepreneurial opportunities, the new world of work requires less focus on where/how/why we work and more on aligning skills/experiences of people (the who) with business requirements. This is the new and emerging talent economy.
Lisa says that forward-thinking HR leaders are focusing more on the work required in companies, not just the jobs. They are analyzing how experiences or skills are needed from employees to get the right people engaged and moving-forward in projects.
With this shift in thinking, job seekers need to consider: If the goal isn’t the job, but demonstrating the right set of experiences to be able to do the work ….how can you prepare? Engaging with forward-thinking career professionals – who are committed to providing clients with true, accurate, best practices – is a recommendation for job seekers looking to navigate this change.
Barrier-Breaking for Older Job Seekers
Cathy Milton, a career professional, led a discussion on “Helping Third Age Job Seekers Maximize Their Efforts”. In this chat, career professionals shared insights on how to support the ‘third age’ population with job search and career opportunities.The third age is generally a period of life between the ages 55 and 80. At this time in life people are transforming and more focused on ‘following their bliss’, but there are barriers that this group faces, including ageism and stereotypes.
To increase job search success, third agers are encouraged to focus on personal value (what you have to offer, not what you feel is lacking) and know how values align with the needs of targeted employers. Confidence-building is paramount to ensure that skills are effectively delivered. A solid understanding of labour market information (see point #4 below) is required. Finally, knowing how to conduct a modern job search is imperative.
If you are in the third age of your career and seeking new employment, consider partnering with a career pro to ensure you present your very best self, and employ innovative strategies, to overcome obstacles.
Lise Stransky of Careers That Work For You demonstrated how LMI (Labour Market Information) can support a job search, encouraging job seekers to make informed career decisions by leveraging and analyzing LMI. She asks us all to become trend analyzers to properly qualify data. To support this point Lise asked: “Based on the following statistics, which occupation will have more job openings? The number of jobs for physiotherapists will increase by 150%. The number of jobs for plumbers will increase by 10%.”
What would your guess be?
The answer is: It depends on the number of people working in each occupation in the community. If there are only 30 physiotherapists, an increase of 150% would mean 45 new jobs. If there are 2000 plumbers, a 10% increase would result in 200 additional jobs .Hence the reason you must qualify your data carefully.
Lise also reminded us that LMI is constantly changing and evolving. To keep pace, consider yourself as a set of skills (and not just a one-track-job-applicant), ready to pivot and adapt to ride the tides of labour market trends. When you hear a news item or read an article about labour market trends, consider the following questions:
• How will these trends affect the local economy?
• What opportunities will these trends create?
Karin Touloumjian, a Recruitment Supervisor, shared important insights for job seekers regarding the role of recruiters, emphasizing that recruiters work for employers; not job seekers.As part of the hiring process, Karine often cross-checks and research’s candidates via LinkedIn and Google, so job seekers need to ensure that online content is well populated and branded. She carefully compares career facts across platforms and conducts telephone pre-screens to flesh out possible inconsistencies or fibs…so be prepared to back up facts!
When it comes to resumes, Karine made it very clear that demonstration of skill – in alignment with the role requirements – is what matters most. Yet she loves and appreciates beautiful design, so if you can pair stellar content with creative presentation in your resume, even better. Select interview tips from Karine include: ‘listen well to answer well’; do research and be prepared; and please – show enthusiasm! It is really important that recruiters see candidates excited about the opportunities at hand.
A final important piece of advice job seekers is…..get referred! Karine shared that: “I pay extra attention to resumes that are referred to me by an internal employee. I will spend more time on these resumes and give more feedback (either yes or no) on their job fit.”
Career Marketing – Beyond the Computer
Skye Berry-Burke of Skye Is the Limit Resume and Career Solutions (and my partner at CareerPreneur Partners) shared amazing insights on the benefit of generating a complete Career Marketing Package. She urged job seekers to apply design elements in their resumes (and various career tools) to help them stand out in a competitive job market….and create both networking and computer-friendly resumes that WOW.
With the changes to recruitment processes over the years –it is no surprise that the way resumes are seen and read has also changed to primarily computer screening. Yet relying too heavily on online applications and the dreaded ATS (applicant tracking system) is not a forward-thinking job search strategy. You need to ‘bring your job search beyond the computer’! Explore the hidden job market and make networking your primary job search focus. Innovate both your strategies and your tools to increase success. Create a Career Marketing Package that supports a new-age search.