Benchmark yourself. Even if you’re the boss, your job isn’t secure. A lifelong job with one company has become history. But you can enhance your value in the marketplace.

Change your mindset. Cultivate a new mental outlook. Take responsibility for your career development. Become a student of change: ensure that you know which way the wind is blowing.

Make change work for you: be prepared to exploit opportunities as soon as they emerge. Prepare yourself now for a change in career.

Learn to market yourself. Determine your worth "out there".

When James graduated from U.C.T., he applied for a position in the S.A.A.
At his selection interview he was asked: "What can you do well?"
"Good!" cried the selection panel in unison. "You’re just the sort of chap we want - and we won’t even have to break you in!"

Think of yourself as self-employed.

Jot down anything that enhances your chance of Getting a job: qualifications, experience, special expertise, etc.

  • Scan "situation vacant" ads for job vacancies in your area of expertise. Note what they’re paying for people like you and the qualifications demanded. This will give you a panoramic view of what you’re worth in the job market.

  • Get a more detailed view from Human Resources consultants who specialise in your area of expertise.

Increase your value. Build up your intellectual capital. Become a lifelong learner. Perpetual homework. Acquire skills that will increase your value. Upgrade your qualifications continuously. Learn your living. Don’t earn your living. Constantly improve your marketable skills.

Become a generalist, not a specialist. A specialist is someone who knows more and more about less and less!! Constantly upgrade your knowledge across-the-board so that you can do anything that gives you the desired result.

Enhance your worth by collecting letters of Customer delight. Hordes of delighted customers who testify to the excellence of your service are more valuable than certificates and diplomas that attest to your professional competence.

Send your CV out. Apply for jobs; attend interviews.

You won’t really know what you’re worth "out there" until you test the market.

Circulate your CV to let potential employers know that you’re still around and keep them informed about what you’ve been doing since you were last in contact. View CV circulation as an insurance policy that could stand you in good stead if you’re wrongsized out of your present job.

Draw up a strategic employment plan for yourself to cover, say, the next three years. Decide what new skills you intend to acquire during this period. And, in the light of your job market intelligence gathering, which of your existing skills you need to upgrade.

Cross train yourself.

Build up your intellectual capital.

Knowledge is the new capital of the working world. In the US, despite the downsizing epidemic, the numbers of managerial and professional workers have increased by 37 percent since the beginning of the 1980s. And by the year 2000, it is estimated that the UK will have 10 million knowledge workers compared with 7 million manual workers. The Swedish company, Skandia, even has a “director of intellectual capital”.

  • A shallow thinker seldom makes a deep impression.

  • Some students drink deeply from the fountain of knowledge, others only gargle.

  • Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week. George Bernard Shaw

  • It's a nuisance that knowledge can only be acquired by hard work. Somerset Maughan

  • 90% Of inspiration is perspiration.

  •  A genius! For 37 years I’ve practised 14 hours a day, and now they call me a genius! Pablo Saraste - Spanish Violinist

  • Once I met someone so dumb -  the only thing she ever read was an eye-chart. In fact she used to look for a wishbone in a soft-boiled egg.

  • Learning is a treasure which accompanies its owner everywhere.

Action points

  1. List the names of 3 competitors, and next to each name, jot down their strengths.
  2. How can you achieve the strengths listed of your competitors?
  3. When was the last formal qualification that you received?
  4. What course could you do to obtain the strengths of your competitors?
  5. What courses/skills could you acquire in order to supersede your competitors?
  6. List the names of 5 customers who will testify to the excellence of your service.

1.   Where are you going?
2. How are you going to get there?
3. What will you need to do?
4. What are you lacking?
5. Who is in your way?
6. Who are you aiming at?
7. Who do you need to assist you?
  Have Heart
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