.. it begins with a new level of awareness
The market is organized to create the view that employers hold virtually all of the power in the employment relationship. If you accept this interpretation of reality, it’s almost certain to result in unfulfilled potential and foregone income.
And as with most harmful conditions, the situation will worsen the longer it’s left untreated.
In fact, the perception of a power imbalance is largely an illusion. Employers struggle to find the right people, especially for key positions.
Some of the ways they seek to find these people are massively dysfunctional, though they fill the pipeline with candidates. Instead of the rare gem they are seeking to attract, employers are confronted instead with a clamouring crowd of would-be sellers.
The recruitment industry, as it’s currently structured, is a key feature of the problem. Listen to these words from a leading recruitment industry insider, Greg Savage. Writing to his fellow recruitment consultants, Savage has described the recruitment industry as ‘terminally dysfunctional’ and ‘totally screwed’ with candidates being ‘treated like cattle’.
In frustration with the difficulty of the search, all too often employers default to shortcuts such as hiring the often-mediocre person they knew of all along (“better the devil you know…”) even when what they need most is a fresh perspective and a new level of energy.
This sort of staleness needs to be disrupted, for the employer’s benefit as well as yours.
So where should you start?
You can be the ‘circuit breaker’ that’s required – by helping your next employer to find you.
To do this, you’ll need to market your services. This is not a synonym for selling them, so it doesn’t begin with applying for advertised jobs. For most executive or professional-level career moves, job applications should be only a minor part of the exercise.
The purpose of marketing is to make selling unnecessary.
To market your services effectively, you’ll need to be perceived as a buyer, as well as a seller.
We’re not recommending arrogance. Whether you’re seeking a job or self-employment, it’s best to see the search as being about finding your next client or customer, and having a selective approach; it’s a more accurate view of how the world of work operates at best practice levels today.
The old clichés such as ‘nothing succeeds like success’ are based on truth. In a market crowded with ‘candidates’, those seen merely as a part of a crowd of sellers get short shrift.
Achieving this rebalancing requires a radically different level of thinking – and the skills to implement it.
It’s true of self-employment too
There’s no real shortage of opportunity for those who want to ‘run their own show’. But for most people, the experience of self-employment is a very expensive lesson in the limitless ways in which it’s possible to get things wrong. If you want to go out on your own, the starting point for a successful outcome is, again, a radically different level of thinking and of implementation. A marketing focus is key.