New Roles in the World Wide Web of Work
Things are changing. Well, duh...

No big news here, but how you interpret that change and more importantly how you deal with it and what you do with it will determine your success...on both your personal and professional balance sheets.

On the professional side, employers are now assuming a newly defined role as customer. For the last several years employees have played this part as employers were "buying" (play with the metaphor...) employees. But the employers role as customer is not the same role of customer played in the early 90's. Manufacturing is taking a hit, but the real estate market remains strong, money is cheaper than it has been in 40 years and although consumer confidence is swaggering like Otis after a wild night on the streets of Mayberry RFD, unemployment remains relatively low -- three to five percent lower than when employers last played the role of customer.

When a hiring opportunity comes up employers will be swamped with resumes, 90-95% of which will have no relevant experience making it harder to recognize the right candidate when they come along. Hiring authorities will also raise their expectations of skills, relevant experience and cultural fit -- after all they'll have more to choose from. In the dollars and sense department, you'll find more sense and less dollars. Base salaries will remain respectable, but employees won't be singing about signing bonuses.

As regards your personal balance sheet, it's probably a good time to consider taking your career in for a full detail (more metaphors to play with...). The inside job will mean evaluating your team and the results you hold them accountable for as those results will are the exterior detail job that you polish on your own resume of results. Review your responsibilities and make sure they're in line with your short and long term career plans (you have a plan don't you?) and make sure you keep track of the results of your responsibilities.

Regardless of whether you're buying or selling employment it's important to realize that we're in a period of transition. The "changes" aren't fully flushed out and employers and employees are both learning how to act in their newly defined roles of buyers and sellers. Employers will need the help of a recruiter to rescue them and their staff from the onslaught of resumes that keep everyone from doing their job. Employees will need the wisdom of a recruiter who knows how to market their skills and keep career plans on the map in spite of the recent "slippery when wet" signs that keep popping up on the road to work.

Change, unlike greed, is good. It causes us all to stretch and grow. But what matters most is how we walk through the fire.

Of course this is only my opinion, but it’s one I value highly.


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