Get your head in the game: Employers continually change their hiring strategies

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Ever had to watch the game that you knew nothing about? Sometimes you see everybody clapping and laughing, and you just join in. You don’t want to be left out as the awkward member of the pack.

I have. For me that’s baseball. I have seen players doing their thing, and everybody cheering them while I had no clue what’s going on.

Now, I’m very athletic. Or at least that’s what I have been told. Put me in the rugby field, and see the miracle happen. That’s my game. But, place me with the baseball team, and then you can swear I’m a loser. Or say rugby rules changed and I wasn’t aware. Then I’ll probably look foolish.

What am I getting at? Everything has its own governing rules. Not only in the games, but also in schooling, job-hunting and a lot of other things.

Centuries earlier, job-seekers had to have a certain arsenal. To try and use their arsenal today will be unwise. This is because, within the last fifty years or so, the job market has evolved. Failure to embrace that fact, will render even the most experienced and/or talented amongst us foolish.

Let’s be clear on something. Job-hunting isn’t easy. It never was. So unless we are going to be intentional about it, all our experiences, skills, certifications and the likes will not yield much. There is so much that can be achieved; only if we begin to be a little serious about our job search or career change.

We live in the real world. By that I meant no genies, fairy god mothers. Not even Jack Sparrow’s compass will work out here.

Of course many of us don’t want to hear that. I get that. But the truth remains. Without anyone warning us, the rules running the job market have changed.

What used to work has become obsolete. As opposed to getting your first job immediately after graduation, that first has been, not impossible, but hard to find nonetheless. For many of us, we feel out-of-place. It is like we’re to play that game that we know nothing about.

Still more, many of us have written those CVs. Have gone to a lot of “job boards”. This used to work. Or at least we’ve been made to think. These are no longer working. In and of themselves, that is. When this happens frustration sets in. What changed? Everything!

Richard N. Bolles in What is the color of your parachute practical manual for job-hunters and career-changers points out the following:

Employers changed, job-hunters didn’t.

Year in and year out, when we are job-hunting, we tend to hunt the same way we have for decades, regardless of whether times are good or bad. Employers don’t. They don’t stay the same.

In good times they hunt one way. In bad times, they hunt another way. These have serious implications on our hunting. There are always jobs looming about. The only thing that stands in the way is that employers have changed their hunting.

The length of the average job-hunts has increased dramatically.

Today, it can take a lot longer to get your first job. Of course, for some it may take forever. By that I mean, some may never get employed.

The question is: are your skills those of today or those that used to work a decade ago? This, in the work market, has been shown to be a matter of life and death.

These and many more factors will reveal the nature and extend of change in the world of work. Learn to read books. They are sources of greater, practical knowledge. Of course, not just any books. Especially, today when anyone can write.

No matter how great you find this piece of advice, you will not see the results until you are ready, willing to get your hands dirty, and able to get your head in the game.

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Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.