Sunday, December 13, 2009

the five laws of the labour market

1. Nobody owes you a job

2. You have to compete to get a job.

3. You have to fight to keep a job.

4. You can be laid off at any time, through no fault of your own.

5. You can leave anytime you want to.

It's fairly obvious to many that this is the way the job market operates and still it amazes me how many people believe that it's the government's fault why they dont have a job or how they blame the state of the economy for why nothing has turned up for them.
It's so sad yet true that most people spend far more time researching holidays than researching job options.
It's a shame that people refuse to network when they know that that is how work is found. The internet has made it easier to hide behind a system which bears little fruit.
By clinging to the belief that somebody owes you a job and that loyalty is rewarded with continuous employment is the most important stumbling belief that people have to get over to move on.
The great advantage to all of this is that we live in an age of great personal choice, where it's ok to say' hey, i dont like this work, i don't like my boss's attitude and i'm going to walk out this door tonight or i will take the pay cheque and hang on until something better comes a perfectly reasonable and healthy belief.
I've met more people in their late forties and early fifties who are leaving jobs they've been in since they were in their late teens or early twenties and their lack of knowledge of what options they have is saddening. In fact they resist the idea that there is other work they could do, such is their institutional mindset. Yet they have been laid off or face early retirement, knowing that they have to work for another fifteen years or more to pay the bills. And they really need career advice and yet they wilfully ignore it!
So what do you do?
Well I do my best to de-personalise from the situation and encourage people to think differently about themselves. Using practical career tools, like skillscards to enable them to see their strongest skills easily followed by a method to help them explain how these skills are transferable and get them to practice saying this aloud results in one in five seeing the light.
Which is good enough for me...because I can't force this career analysis stuff on people who don't want it and most of my work comes from organisations paying for people to attend my workshops and so what's the point in forcing the issue?
They may wake up in four months time and wish they had career support then but when it comes to paying for career advice, i can tell you now that less than 5% of people are willing to do so!