Friday, April 6, 2007


First off, let's be honest.

The employment market within IT jobs is rebounding, slowly.

We still have however, thousands of IT professionals, managers and skilled workers, out of work or underemployed. These individuals would have never dreamt 5-6 years ago during the I.T. boom, that they would be unemployed for a single day.

Remember the days when all you had to do was post your resume on Monster or Workopolis and employers would scurry to entice you to their Folks the world has changed.Martha Stewart went to jail. Schwarzenegger is the Governor of California and a shoe box in Yaletown is worth 400K. The process of securing career employment has also changed. Six-Seven years ago there were more jobs than technical people. The tech. community walked around with a level of casual arrogance that comes from being chased and never having to chase.
I meet many talented people who don't know how to chase great jobs. I tell them to look around, no-one is chasing you. No-one is around the corner and no-one is waiting for you.
Goblal changes, increased competition and leaner business models have caused a drastic shift in the way professionals need to approach the employment market. However, with the right approach, there is alot of great opportunities out there. But how do you know if you have the right strategy to land that great job?

Well, here's a great test that will test your career search strategy.

Before taking the test however, put some contest of what your result will affect. For instance, priorities in life are crucial, like most people our families and our health are #1. And again, like most people 1B represents our careers. Simply, most of us spend at least 8-10 hours a day of our life working. Everything we do at work provides for the health and economic well being of our families. Like it or not the right job makes a world of difference for you and those in your life.So with the realization, start the survey.

Each question is to be answered on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the highest grade. Please answer and total for the following 4 questions out of 40.Remember, if you are seeking new employment, then you are the product in a very competitive market of job seekers. So please take a moment to really think about these questions and be honest. The only person you are going to fool is yourself. I will, at the bottom of this article give you the average total score from professionals I have interviewed from my 10 years of working with professionals helping them secure their next career.

Question #1. On a scale of 1-10, what is your level of awareness of opportunities of professionals of your skills? (For instance, how many openings do you know about that are definite? How many opening do you know about that are in the works, etc...?)

Question#2.On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you with your knowledge of your market value. Not just estimate based on your last job. (We know you earned $90K in your last job, but for G-d's sake you've been unemployed for 6 months and have sent out 300 resumes and now call yourself a consultant and the next change to your cv will be an address change back to your parents house). How well do you know what your worth? Salary, benefits, vested stock options, future options, vacations, further education, etc.?

Quetion#3. On a scale of 1-10 How strong are your interview skills and strategy. Think about competing with 10 other people with similar skills going into an interview competing for one job. How well do you interview? I am not counting the fact that during a one hour meeting you can tell employers about what they already know from your resume; your work history, that your a team player, that your looking for a challenge and technology is your life. I am talking about your ability to market yourself with strategic information and a plan to set yourself apart from the 9 other candidates.

Question #4. On a scale of 1-10, what is the level of your contacts in your target market or industry? For example, if your looking for a job at 50-70K, how many people do you know over 100k that are in managerial positions in companies that would meet you or potentially hire you?

How did you do? These questions are not designed to be easy. I have found in life that humility is the first step to succeeding towards the next level. So, now that you've been honest and answered these questions, what's your score out of 40? Most people realize during this survey that they really don't have a great strategy for 1B in their life. And think about this. Those questions relate to marketing any product. How well do you know the product? Who needs this product? How does this product differ from similiar products? How well can I communicate the value differences of this product? Who do I know wants to buy this product? What's the product worth if someone does want to buy it? I have had the privilege of meeting thousands of professionals at all levels during my career. The vast majority score between 10-15 out of 40. Actually the higher I seem to go up in the corporate ladder the lower the score admited by the professionals. CEO & VP's invariably score between 10-12. Simply speaking, they know that their competition is equally impressive. They are extremely ready to admit where they are weak and get help. That is the basis of all success in life.I will follow-up this article next week with some concrete ideas and strategies on how to secure new opportunities in the employment market. There is no magic pill coming, these ideas will require; research, diligence, practice and consistency, but they will work. I welcome you to try the ideas and give me feedback. After all, it's only your life.

Minto D. RoyPresident/CEO
PCMG Canada/Careers Today Canada

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