Sometime ago, Glendal (a project manager on this website) asked me to suggest a solution for the current unemployment crises facing the USA. While still working on an answer to that, the same question was again popped to me in a recent interview with Dice.com.
Since this is a question weighing on the minds of people … Today, it will be my pleasure to answer the question: “How To Solve The Unemployment Crises Facing The United States of America.“.
I will preface my solution by saying that unemployable people will find that their situation results from either not having the right skills or not knowing how to market their skills or both!
Disregarding folks who can’t work because of disability or medical issues, you will find that most people can find work, if they pay enough attention to their skills, hands-on experience or their marketability.
How To Break The Cycle Of Unemployment Facing The USA
The solution to unemployment is embracing a lifestyle of learning new technology. For your career or skills to be marketable, what you know must be tied into a facet of technology that is currently in-demand in your industry.
Why should you care about technology?
Technology in one form or the other creates or eliminates jobs and drives the entire economy forward. When you ride the wave of technology, your career is in-demand and when your skills are behind the technology curve, your employment prospects start to dwindle!
So, one of the biggest challenges facing unemployable people is that their skills are behind the technology curve.
Here are some pointers or indicators of having skills out of touch with today’s technology.
You have a college degree and you think that makes you employable. Or you don’t have a college degree and you think that is the reason why you can’t get a job!
The Gold Watch Syndrome
You are too focused on racking up years of service or retiring with a gold watch at the end of your career.
Losing your job forces you to face the unpleasant reality that employers don’t care about years of service anymore!
You view certifications as the roadmap to career success and so, you buoy your career up with them.
Only to lose your job because your employer eventually sees through your certified incompetency.
A long-time ago, having a college degree guaranteed an entry-level job at a great company. Once you were hired, you would stay at that one job and build your nest egg.
Today’s employer hires for sharpness of skills or breadth of experience and not for old-school reasons. And you have a job, only for as long as your skills are in-demand or you stay-ahead of the technology curve!
How To Be Employable
#1 – Bridge Technology Gaps by Learning New Skills
Learn skills that are in-demand by employers.
Don’t just learn the skills you like or want, develop skills that are actually being posted in real-world job descriptions.
Don’t wait for employers to lower their requirements and don’t plan on finding work with obsolete skill-sets either.
#2 – Stay Ahead Of The Technology Curve By Constantly Updating your Skills
Plan to update, improve or become an expert at what you do.
Don’t assume that what you learned 1 year ago is still current … because it’s not.
If you sharpen your skills constantly, you will become a highly skilled or sought-after technology professional.
If your skills are sharp, you will be highly employable and in-demand … even as employers compete for your services and not the other way round!
#3 – Always Be Learning
Invest time, money and effort on a continuous basis in your career development.
Don’t bet on making a one-time investment that will keep you employed for the rest of your life because that is no longer realistic.
What is realistic is an expectation to “get out of your career … only what you put into it“.
So, invest money, time and effort into learning new skills or updating skills continuously and you will be sought-after or in-demand in your industry.
#4 – Market Your Skills Better
A number of unemployed people can get jobs if they just learned how to market their skills better.
If you hate to hear the “marketing word”, here how to market your career without being a shameless promoter!
Build Your Brand Or Become A Leader
Start by doing what you love and then convey your passion at job interviews.
This last point is important because hiring managers or employers love to hire passionate IT professionals who really care about their skills, their careers or their industry. Because there are so many people that are out to just get a job … your passion will stick out in a crowded job market!
If you can’t find something that you love, then go into a career that you can eventually become really good at.
Finally, build a brand around networking with people and solving the problems facing your industry.
The approach that I’m talking about is explained in an article titled: Become A Leader And Get The Job You Want!
#5 – Choose A New IT Career
Let me wrap up by saying that this post is intended for Information Technology (IT) professionals (business analysts, computer programmers, database professionals, software testers, project managers, etc).
If you’re not already an IT professional or you need help with evaluating your IT career choices, I suggest that you get a copy of the THE BLUEPRINT – YOUR ROADMAP TO CAREER SUCCESS E-BOOK + WORKBOOK. Starting with the e-book and finishing up with the workbook, you will learn how to make better career choices.
Finally, unemployment is not based on education or age but on how well-aligned your skills are with the current technology. If you choose the right career, improve your skills constantly, and market your career better, your skills or services will always be in-demand.
You Deserve A Good Life … Go Get It
Read additional thoughts on employment, job prospects and technology titled: “Always Be Learning“.
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