Career Management has Changed

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Being on vacation gives one time to reflect on your chosen subject — in my case, career management for Cubicle Warriors.

Reviewing my current writing on career management on this blog, it is clear that things about career management have changed over the years.

Reflecting back, it used to be when I started out in the work force eons ago, that jobs were often found by classified ads in newspapers. My very first job out of college was through campus recruiters doing interviews at my college.

Later, with the advent of the Internet, searching for jobs moved from classified ads to online job boards. Places like Monster showed up to handle both the job seeker and the company to post jobs. For all of us, at that point, the job search effectively became global.

Companies, not to be subject to just job boards, created their own online job areas on their Internet sites. Companies that have great brand names need not go to the job boards, but will draw qualified applicants through their own site — complicating the job seeker’s efforts to find a position.

Combined with the job boards and the company sites, in response to the large numbers of resumes submitted online, Human Resources developed programs to automate the process of looking through the resumes.

Focused on key words in the resume, automated programs effortlessly — and with much error — tore through the submitted resumes and presented just the skill sets in the resume needed for the position. This, of course, required job seekers to know the key words needed for the automated programs to pick out their resume.

Given the Internet, job seekers have also built out their personal web sites with resume, skill set examples, and even testimonials from others to show their unique offering to the marketplace. This will be the effort on my own personal site; not completed yet.

Today, the latest twist on both job posting and resume delivery includes doing video job requisitions and resumes. This process is in its infancy, but something I’m watching.

Over arching all of this, of course, is finding positions through our own networks of contacts.

But networking has changed significantly over time as well. Instead of finding out about positions from the our clubs, school functions, religious activities, or neighbors, we’ve moved to a far flung network through corporate transfers and working with close contacts on the other side of the planet.

This has resulted in creative people coming up with tools to track, maintain, and communicate with a global network. And a requirement of us to maintain the database and the all-important communication.

As companies have become less and less oriented to employee careers with the loss of “lifetime employment,” it has forced Cubicle Warriors to have a thriving group of people with whom we have regular communication. Communication not only about jobs, companies, and careers, but also communication about how to help the people in their network.

The key question for each of use is: where are you on this career and networking spectrum? Are you still managing your career by finding jobs through newspaper classifieds? Or are you working your video resume that you could send to a potential employer?

Have you built a database of your network so that you can manage your communications with all those people you know all over Corporate Earth? Or are you thinking that when you need something you’ll just ask?

The answers to those questions will tell you what the next level of career management you need to be working.

Corporate Earth will not protect your job or build your skills. That’s up to you.

So I’ve concluded from my vacation thoughts.

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