With a radically smaller pool of skilled workers and the
increased demand for profits, the original War for Talent of the late 1990s has
morphed from a quantitative to a qualitative one, best described as the War for
the Best Talent by author
Faced with stiffer competition and tougher hiring requirements, companies of every sort are becoming single-minded about productivity and bottom-line performance. Consequently, competition for jobs is increasing as management seeks and hires only those persons who appear to have the most potential for helping to boost the company’s profits. For many companies, employees are now viewed as a variable cost—hence the term human capital—to remain “on the books” only as long as they continue to produce. Looking for an old-fashioned job like the one “Dad used to have” is a waste of your time— Jobs are temporary in the new economy—henceforth you always need to be looking for the next opportunity.
The people who market their talent the best will win!
Self-confessed team players are often regarded as “followers” or “hangers-on” by senior management. I know you have been told: “We are supposed to be team players!” The Human Resources department may have told you that, but there’s a difference between leaders who can follow others, and those people who always need to follow others. My advice to you—forget about buying another power tie, instead invest in a course on leadership and look for opportunities to test your new-found skills within the company or outside as a volunteer. The ability to lead will be the number one requirement for guerrilla job-hunters.
Project Management Skills
Develop the fine art of managing people and projects. Learn how to deal with customers, work with vendors, and interact with management in ways that satisfy the needs and objectives of the organization. This elusive talent is of great value and will support
the notion that you are becoming a person who is of great value to your organization. My advice—look into a formal accreditation through the Project Management Institute (http://www.pmi.org/info/default.asp ).
If you become the person who can pull teams together, support communication,
and make things happen, that will help make your position and perceived value within the organization more visible and support the argument that leaving your job intact is a good business decision. My advice—learn to be likable and how to work a room without looking like a self-obsessed shark.
Writing and public speaking are critical skills whether you are representing your company or merely trying to sway your boss. A public speaking course will have you on the podium and in the limelight faster than any other single action you can take. Your value and confidence will increase dramatically. My advice—join a Toastmaster’s
networking group near you today.
There are many jokes about salespeople: What do they really do besides lunch and golf? Bring in the business, that’s what, and today that’s everyone’s responsibility. New business is the lifeblood of every business. When you become known as a rainmaker, the
chances of your job being offshored diminish dramatically. My advice —become great at it. Start with a few books like Selling to VITO by Anthony Parinello (Cincinnati, OH: Adams Media Corporation, 1999) and Advanced Selling Strategies by Brian Tracy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996). Devour those books and then take a formal course.