Job Strategies for 21st Century

“Where much is given, much is required” is a theme that I have embraced since I’ve gotten some many opportunities.  Last weekend, I gave a lecture at Payne Avenue Missionary Baptist Church on job strategies for the 2st century.  I felt it was time to better educate the community about the current employment landscape.

Where are the jobs? How can individuals land one? As we left 2011, many individual’s job opportunities faded away. There are over 15 million unemployed in our country.  Our community is no exception. What worked in the past for job prospects will not work during this economic crisis.

As the economic downturn continues to worsen for today’s workers, individuals need to refocus their strategies as they witness the last era of the full-time workforce. Sadly, things will never be the same for most employees. Companies chase emerging markets abroad.

According to government estimates, an additional 1.2 million manufacturing jobs will disappear in America by 2018.  According to a USA Today analysis, part-time work is at a record high while overtime is at an all-time low.

An average of just 33 hours was recorded for the average worker in May 2009; it was fewer hours than any time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics begun to track it in 1964. In fact, over 9 million people want to work full-time but can only find part-time employment. 

Most job seekers do not understand that the employment rules have changed. In a survey of 1,729 human resource professionals conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management in partnership with AON Consulting, 60 percent of the survey participants said that the skill levels of today’s job applicants do not meet job demands. Forty-three percent said that current employees do not have skills levels to meet job requirements.

At the church, I attempted to share some of the emerging job strategies to apply during this financial crisis. These strategies were identified in my book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century. With an academic mindset and community concern, I feel we can assist the community with the current unemployment problems in our area.  Knowledge is key! Below are some of these recommendations to consider:  


  • Personal Branding.  Individuals should set themselves apart with a personal brand.  Your personal brand should define, promote, and protect your image online and off-line. Develop a unique skill or talent that is very valuable in your discipline.
  • Core Competencies. Those individuals with the right skills and abilities will never lose out on potential opportunities. Employers are looking for workers with the right skill set. 
  • Good Communications.  Individuals need to be able to articulate their thoughts (oral and written). In the future, mastering a foreign language will be a trademark for progressive and successful Americans.
  • Critical Thinking. A person can increase his longevity in the workforce by looking critically at problems. Today’s employers are looking for innovators and creators, not just employees.
  • Strategic Alliances & Networking.  Individuals should move beyond networking to strategic alliances. A strategic alliance is agreement for cooperation among two or more people to work together toward common objectives.  Therefore, strategic alliance is not a self-serving function.
  • Flexibility.  Being a person who is mobile and adaptable will be an asset during these uncertainty times.


Although many people feel very pessimistic about future career opportunities, hope is not lost if people are prepared for the future. Bestselling Scifi 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 one’s career strategy, individuals are taking a positive step in navigating these difficult economic times and landing their future jobs.


State your experience with this topic.  What additional job strategies would you suggest for unemployed individuals?


© 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    




7 thoughts on “Job Strategies for 21st Century

  1. I have been thinking more and more about finding a job recently. My dad told me the other day about a job opportunity for a company in TN that also had affiliates in my home country Belgium. I always see these kind of companies as great opportunities. I have a set of skills that most Americans can not give, I am fluent in 2 languages, and have a good understanding of a 3rd. These are very great perks to have when you apply to an international company. In an article from the NY times I read that “There are now — for the first time in three decades — more young women in school than in the work force”(Rampell, 2011). I think these days young people are just not easy to satisfy, there are good jobs out there, but you just have to work for them. These young women go back to school because they are not reaching the job status they want fast enough.

    Rampell, C. (2011, December 28). Instead of Work, Younger Women Head to School. Retrieved March 3, 2012, from

  2. Ann-Sophie,

    Excellent insight! Most high performing persons want to retool their skills so that they stay competitive. You are not alone. With your multi-language abilities, you are ahead of the game.

    Dr. D. Green

  3. Although I am a substitute high school teacher, I am always searching for a full-time teaching position. In today’s economic, every company both private and public are developing ways to save money, downsize, and cut cost in their budgets. So, in the educational field teachers are being let go that do not have tenure. Classes are being eliminated, for example, William Blount High School cut their marketing class, and saved a estimated $45,000 the cost of paying a full-time teacher. For these reason I decided to get my MBA, so that I would have the additional degree to enhance my opportunities to find a teaching job at the community college level. I would suggest that those individuals seeking employment should make sure they are diversified in job skills. The more jobs you can perform the more valuable you are to the employer.

  4. I believe an important skill to have and an important job strategy to utilize is to be able to have “people skills.” This is similar to having good communication skills, but it incorporates a little more as well. Rachel Zupek names one reason in her article “Top 10 reasons employers want to hire you” that having the ability to get along well with others is crucial. Regardless of the skills you have, if you cannot get along well with others, your career with a company will be short lived. As an undergraduate, I had an accounting professor tell me that I would succeed with any company because I could get along well with others. He explained to me that having knowledge is important, of course, but he gave examples of where employees were let go by corporations because of their lack of “people skills.”

    Zupek, R. (2011). Top 10 reasons employers want to hire you. Retrieved from

  5. I agree with the recommended strategies in this blog. We are creating an information and skilled based society in the 21 century. It is developing into a technology and skill-based information society. The job security that was available in the 20th century is disappearing. Unlike baby boom generation, X and Y will experience several changes in jobs in their life. Job security is becoming instinct. The most effective job strategy would be to prepare themselves for a fast moving and mobile work environment. In recent years we have seen a trend of increasing home workers where people telecommute instead of going to a business location. This is made possible due to advancing technology and information based work environment.
    Even the medical profession is moving towards electronic health record keeping where it will become possible for health professionals to communicate with their patients through electronic media. “’Electronic health information exchange holds great promise for improving patient care and outcomes,’ said Mark Savage” (McDonald, 2012). This makes communication so much easier. Therefore the need for electronic workers is rapidly increasing. I believe speed is important, how quickly can you adapt to the changing circumstances of the market? That is definitely the skill that will be most highly in demand for future jobs.

    McDonald, F. (2012, 03 6). [Web log message]. Retrieved from
    Positioning yourself for emerging jobs in technology: 10 tips. (2011). Informally published manuscript, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Retrieved from

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