How to Succeed in Job Market of the 21st Century – Part I
- Saturday, April 26, 2003
The world of work has changed tremendously! Understanding how it has changed and how to succeed in today’s market are key to creating a satisfying career path. Following World War II to the beginning of the 1990's, “career planning” entailed getting one’s education/training, starting with a good company, working hard, and moving up the career ladder until it was time to retire. People expected to be “taken care of” by their company, including guaranteed job security. Many people these days, because of lack of knowledge and/or fear of facing the changes in today’s job market, act as though the job market still functions this way. These are the people who will be left behind in today’s work world.
Today, due to economic changes on a global level, companies have to operate differently. No longer can we expect someone else to take care of us and our careers. We have to be proactive, charting our own course, learning the rules of the new job market and preparing ourselves to be successful employees and/or entrepreneurs. The bad news is that we can no longer expect job security from an organization. The good news, however, is that we can create employment security for ourselves, which is something no one can take away from us. This week we will look at two of the five important rules for success. (Next week we’ll address the remaining three rules.)
Rules for Creating Employment Security
Rule #1: Take responsibility for your own career development!
Most people “fall into” jobs or careers, which is why a large-scale study found that 4 out of 5 workers are in the wrong jobs for their skills and abilities. Taking responsibility for your career development means learning about the career planning process (see Career Master Planning: How to Find Work You Love to Do) and then taking steps to assess your God-given design thoroughly, identifying careers that fit your design, making good career decisions from a biblical framework and then taking action to implement your decision.
Taking action is key! Praying about finding your career niche is vital, but it’s not enough. Remember, Scripture tells us: “Ask and it will be given to you; SEEK and you will find; KNOCK and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Don’t stop with asking...move on to seeking and knocking. The resources of CareerPlace and the ChristianCareerCenter.com are designed to help you determine which steps you need to take, and provide assistance in taking them.
Rule #2: Become a need-finder!
Many employees are only concerned with their own needs, and what their company can do for them. Employment security, however, comes from being aware of the mission, goals and needs of your company and doing whatever you can to help your company be successful. This, of course, is also a biblical concept: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Ephesians 2:4). Companies value employees who continually make a positive contribution to the success of the company.
One of our clients exemplified being a need-finder. While working as a computer programmer, John realized that there was a need in his company for employees to receive more thorough training on various software packages. He put in a proposal which documented this need, and offered to provide the training himself. The proposal was accepted, resulting in his creating a more satisfying job for himself, and an opportunity to meet wide-spread needs within his organization!
What is happening in your job, your department, your company? What needs do you see that you can be a part of meeting? Challenge yourself to make one new positive contribution to your company this week!
Kevin & Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors, are the directors of the Christian Career Center and Church Jobs Online. (Through these sites you can search hundreds of current job listings from churches, ministries and Christian employers, post your free or featured resume and obtain career counseling and testing to discover work that fits your God-given design.)
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