21st Century Job Strategies


Approximately, 15 million people are unemployed.  Simply put, landing a job today is an extreme uphill challenge, considering the large number of graduating students combined with the rising number of the unemployed. Currently, college graduates find themselves competing with other individuals who are more seasoned and experienced for basic entry level positions in their career field. Therefore, emerging  leaders need a different type of strategy during economic turbulence.

With the fierce competition for limited jobs, many students wonder if they will be able to land a good job in the marketplace.  I understand and see it when talking to my own students. Hope is not lost.  William Bailey and I spent several months researching strategies for current and future college graduates. The results were outlined in our new book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century.  We have found a huge disconnect between what organizations are desiring in potential employees and what today’s graduates are providing.

Economic troubles in our nation and abroad continue to create an unstable and unpredictable job market. Parents across this country tell their children “get a good education and you will get a good job.” However, in this economic rollercoaster, this is not always true. US manufacturing jobs continue to evaporate as global outsourcing becomes the norm for businesses that seek to increase their profits.

According to some business estimates, employers are expected to cut 2.7 million jobs in 2009 (2 million were cut in 2008). These glooming trends make it difficult for even college students to be optimistic. However, having a good plan can increase the odds for most students in landing a good job. Opportunities will present themselves in some form in the future. Therefore, college students need to be proactive about landing a job. 

Below are strategies for college students entering the job market in an economic down-turn: 

  1. Branding
  2. Communications
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Current & well-versed
  5. Flexibility
  6. Global Citizen
  7. Job Homework
  8. Leadership
  9. Love & Passion
  10. Networking
  11. Opportunity
  12. Seasoned Worker
  13. Uniqueness

 Although many people are feeling very pessimistic about future career opportunities, hope is not lost if people are prepared for the future. Bestselling Sci-Fi author H.G. Wells explained, “’We were making the future,’ he said, and hardly any of us troubled to think what future we were making. And here it is’.”  By taking control of the career strategy, college graduates can make a positive step in navigating these difficult economic times and landing their future jobs.

 © 2010 by Daryl D. Green

4 thoughts on “21st Century Job Strategies

  1. This may be the most difficult time ever to launch a new job. The 2008 recession forced many companies to downsize or even to put them out of business. Instead of hiring permanent workers, companies tend to absorb workload fluctuations by temporary workers. So if companies try to be flexible with manning, why can college graduates be flexible and utilize this time as their preparation time? I agree with Dr. Green’s strategies and mainly the idea of being flexible. When an opportunity rises, I don’t think it matters if the position is a full time with juicy salary and benefits or a part time job which helps new graduates build some experience and connections in the area they want to build career of. I found the same suggestion to managers in this new economic order. (1) Murray points it out as the very first strategy that managers will need a flexible organization, so that it can be repositioned quickly to address new threats and master new challenges. If that is the direction many companies are taking, I would say, “Go with flow!”

    (1) Murray, A. (2010). The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide to Management. Location: Harper-Collins Publishers.

  2. I completely agree with Dr. Green’s strategy and Chapman response of being “flexible” in regards in the working world. As Dr. Green stated many young professionals are competing against seasoned workers for entry jobs or for that fact jobs of all levels. There is a positive outlook though, (1) The Baby Boomers are getting older and leaving the markets, giving way to new generations to take the lead. Close to 76 million Baby Boomers are quickly approaching retirement, while only approximately 51 percent of Generation Xers are filling the gap. By 2010 (which is today) Generation Y will make up 50 percent of the full time workforce and make up 41 percent of the U. S. population. (Generation X is defined as those born during the years 1965-1976 and Generation Y is defined as those born during the years 1977-1988) Not only do young professionals need to be flexible, but they also need to be aware of their own talents that they bring to the table compared to the seasoned professional. For example (1) young professionals (Generation X and Generation Y) are tech savvy, proficient in multi tasking, and enjoy working in groups. These are attributes that employers look for and should be included in a resume and in an interview.

    Iyer, Rajesh and Reisentwitz, Timothy (2009) Differences in Generation X and Generation Y: Implications for the organization and marketers. Marketing Management Journal. 19 (2), 91-103.

  3. To me our future opportunity is in our hands. People don’t have to be pessimistic about that because after going to school and learn some knowledge you should apply that when looking for job. The best strategy to me after graduation is trying to know almost everything. You don’t have to stick on one thing as Dr. Green like to say” you have to hassle” means you have to check on every door. If you do a good strategy you have not going to be suffer in your job place and your future will be guarantee. It is difficult to think about this when you are in the midst of a job search. We often accept our first offer based on quick results and short-term goals rather on a long-term perspective. The whole notion of fit seems vague and uncertain when trying to find that first position while weighing both the risk and the opportunity. The knowledge economy is no longer a panacea, and those who can better themselves through hard work and continuous education should reap the rewards. What we are need is a change in attitudes, towards the job market. People create their own careers; this is not only from their hard work and learning, but also from their personal ingenuity and attitudes

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