September 13, 2013
By: Steve Hilgart, Director of Marketing & Communications
The following is a modified version of a Facebook post I made. My intention was to educate and inspire a select group of my “Facebook friends” into taking action – improving their lives without waiting for the government to save them (who won’t show, by the way).
In the past two weeks I have seen many comments related to jobs and school (even some old students of mine who have joined the work force!).
Some Of It Was Good, Some Bad, Some Ugly…
I thought I would chime in a bit to anyone who would listen. I intended to write just a few key points and ended up writing an entire blog post. I realized many of my words were paraphrased from teachers and mentors of mine who taught me about capitalism and achievement. You may even find some quotes from one of my favorites – Denis Waitley – in here.
The following covers several key points about the new world economy and how it works for the individual (I would say we are just shifting back to everyone wanting/having to become an entrepreneur).
Here We Go…
If you’re looking for work (or better work) – pay close attention.
You used to be promoted in a company based on where you went to school, what degree you have, how long you were with your last organization, what your resume says about your responsibilities, and how high up you were there – not now.
Everyone is a free agent in an open market.
Now the only things that matter is what talent you have, what kind of attitude, what you are bringing to the table, and what kind of contribution you plan to bring to the organization?
When you apply for a position, you no longer ask them about “what benefits” you’ll receive or how many paid sick days you get – you tell them what you’re going to do for them.
There Are No More Guarantees
From now on you will never be guaranteed a position – it doesn’t matter what degree you have – you are now competing with hungry people from around the world.
People who are hungry for work, hungry for money, and happy to train harder, longer, and more than you for that position. Not only that, but every developing country has consistently higher (and rising) standards while the standards in the U.S. are sinking (and fast).
The only way to get ahead is continuous education and skills training, and that means read a book or learn a skill. The shelf life of your degree is less than 12 months. Now and continuing on, your fancy degree is only good for wiping your butt. What matters now are the skills you learn during your “education”.
Did you know there is no difference between personal and professional skills? Did you know that people get fired for personal reasons? Fired because they’re late, fired because they don’t show up, fired because they lack goals, fired because they cannot direct themselves.
“What Are These Skills?”
You must learn to communicate effectively – both in writing and orally. What will you say when you are finally given the pay and the responsibility that comes with that promotion?
“Did you research it? Should we do it or not do it? Millions of dollars on the line, Joe – what do you say? Why?”
You need to be able to spell without spell check. How? Read. Read with a dictionary next to you so when you come to a word you don’t know – you look it up and learn it for the rest of your life.
The most successful people in any industry read the most. Sales, marketing, communication, farmers, traders, engineers, lawyers – they all read. The top 1% of performers read more than you in one month than you have read your entire life – don’t fall into that trap. Read.
You must be a self-motivated life-long learner. Read.
You need to be computer literate. Welcome to the digital age! Now get with the program.
You must have the confidence to make suggestions – the confidence to try, as well as the confidence to make mistakes. Did you know there was never a winner who wasn’t a beginner? Scared to look foolish? Get over it. Real confidence comes from someone who is okay with making a mistake. You’ll never reach the top if you never make that first misstep.
Friends, family, and acquaintances – the economy is going to get worse. There won’t be enough jobs. The race has started and you may be behind. Prepare for constant change and insecurity because this is life from now on. Read.
Now get out there and impress me.
I’m back to work, have a fantastic day.
Final note: Maybe you thought this had nothing to do with you, maybe it hit the nail on the head – whichever way you see it – there are some invaluable lessons we all need to be reminded of. We are headed for very uncertain and dangerous times, and the only ones who will survive and thrive are the ones consistently building their future and protecting their past. Enjoy the challenge – I sure will.