2017 Job Strategies for Recent Graduates

College-grad-Job Hunt

When the graduation celebrations have ended, many recent graduates must consider what they are going to do with their lives. Boy, how things have changed! When I was in college (the 1980s), it was an unspoken rule for college seniors to have a few job offers and have a good concept of what they would be doing. In fact, the question, “where do you see yourself in five years” is a standard question of college recruiters on campus. Answer this question timidly or with revocation, and you were assured not to get a follow-interview. Go home to live with parents was not on my radar or any of my close friends.’

Yet, when I started talking with my students and other graduates from other institutions, the clarity of what they were going to do after college life was murky at best. Surprisingly, the majority of the graduating seniors did not have any idea of what they were going to do. Perhaps, it is generational because Millenniums have a different outlook than Baby Boomers or Generation Xers. However, this mentality is nothing new to me. Working for the federal government for over 25 years, I found this mindset while visiting university campuses across the country.

The situation caused me to research this matter and write my book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence. I attempted to assist frustrated parents, anxious students, bewildered educators, and others who are deeply concerned about the welfare of recent college graduates and their employability.

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With my co-author, William Bailey, we discovered a huge disconnect between what organizations desired from potential employees, and what today’s job seekers expect of employers. In this discussion, we will examine 2017 job strategies to assist recent college graduates, their parents, or other supporters in how to increase their success in employment.

The economic picture should give recent college graduates some hope. According to the Blackrock Investment Institute’s 2017 quarterly market report, economic opportunities continue to increase. Global growth expectations are on the rise. While the United States provided most of the economic growth in 2016, non-U.S. entities created the global stimulus for economic growth in 2017. In fact, earnings upsurge was particularly strong in Japan and emerging markets despite terrorism abroad, government stability, and uncertainty in the EU countries.

Focusing more closely on the United States, individuals should feel positive about employment prospects for recent college graduates. According to a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers, the top bachelor’s degree, which would be in the highest demand, was business administration and management. Of the 169 surveyed employers, 86 stated they intended to hire graduates with this degree.

In another college employment study by CareerBuilder.com, 74% of employers planned to hire more recent college graduates this year (up from 67% from 2016). Half of these employers planned to offer recent college graduates higher pay than last year; 39% of these surveyed employers would start recent graduates with $50,000 or more (compared to 27% in 2017).

The most sought after majors for these employers were: Business (30%), Engineering (26%), Computer and Information Sciences (23%), Engineering (16%), Communications Technologies (13%), Mathematics/Statistics (11%), Construction Trades (11%), and Health Professionals/Related Clinical Sciences (10%). With this positive job outlook, college graduates cannot afford to relax because of the continual changes in the job market.

Recent college graduates must enhance their job strategies. In today’s competitive environment, getting a job in one’s major is not easy. In fact, more experienced and older workers are now competing for entry-level jobs. Companies are more demanding due to the surplus of seasoned and young talent before them.

With globalization causing more U.S. companies to compete, many businesses are turning to technology (i.e. automation) and foreign-born talent to offset any workforce shortages. Thus, employers are very picky about prospective employees. For example, some graduates who were excellent students with high GPAs without any experience might find themselves on the outside if they compete against work experience.

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According to the Economic Policy Institute, one in eight colleges graduating class of 2016 were under-employed. Underemployed relates to those individuals in the college-educated workforce that are doing jobs that don’t require a college degree or not in their intended major. With that said, those unemployed individuals would prefer to be working in their major full-time. In the Office of the New York City Comptroller’s 2016, the study found that, by 2014, Millennials were making about 20 percent less in real terms than what older generations made during their first years in the labor force. Thus, recent graduates cannot afford to misunderstand the job market.

Peter Cappelli, the author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, notes that the impersonal nature of the current employment process: “Like a replacement part, job requirements have very precise specifications. Job candidates must fit them perfectly, or the job won’t be filled, and the business can’t operate.” In a surplus market with numerous potential candidates, employees can be picky.

When a list of prospective applicants does not meet the requirements, many times, these positions are left unfilled. Sadly, most job seekers have not figured this reality out. Yet, loaded with the right attitude and good job strategies, recent graduates can ensure themselves of better success in this job market. The following are the 2017 job strategies for more employability:

  1. Possess a good character that makes you an attractive person.
  2. Connect your ideal job with your interest, skills/abilities, and value/belief system.
  3. Build an effective personal brand, including an online personality connected to Linkedin.com and critical online networks.
  4. Pursue additional education and certifications (i.e. Google digital marketing certifications) that separate you from the competition.
  5. Use daily positive self-affirmations about your skills and abilities to keep your energy level positive.
  6. Build an incredible professional network for identifying job opportunities.
  7. Learn how to seek out critical advice and mentorship, but develop the capacity to use it.
  8. Develop a questioning attitude about life to promote problem solving.
  9. Network with subject matter experts, industry leaders, and highly successful people to increase your job opportunities.
  10. Target desired positions and apply periodically (daily, weekly, etc.) so that you are actively engaged in new employment.

In today’s difficult economy, college graduates must be more assertive despite the positive forecast for employment. Getting a job isn’t easy. This article describes 2017 job strategies to assist recent college graduates to become successful in today’s employment landscape.

Unlike when their parents were starting their careers, many Millennials will face future employers that have a variety of job options to fill a job vacancy. Individuals who understand the new mindset of current employers will have a better chance of successfully navigating the employment landmines.

Yet, a savvy job seeker understands these employment changes and makes the necessary corrections to make his/her personal brand attractive to potential employers. If individuals want to be more effective in their job hunt for 2017, they can use these job strategies to navigate future career challenges. Pray that it is not too late.

© 2017 by Daryl D. Green

 

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Job Strategies for Professionals

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Are you fearful about your career future? Good people can’t find jobs. College graduates are losing Hope. Our world is filled with uncertainty. My co-author William Bailey and I wrote our latest book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence.  Through our research, we found that there is a huge disconnect between what organizations are looking for in potential employees, and what today’s job seeker are providing. I will share some of the key insights from our undertaking. Continue reading

Opting Out: How to Increase Worker Satisfaction

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Many managers are clueless.  Some bosses think because employees have a job despite the  financial crisis, employees should be happy.  When the pressures of globalizations are upon American businesses, companies need workers to achieve high performance.

In my book, Breaking Organizational Ties: How to Have a More Fulfilled Life in Your Current Job, I researched and tracked the growing discontentment of some employees about their job situation. In fact, U.S. employee satisfaction is at a 20 year low.

Most employees do not trust their senior leadership to guide the  organization with their employees in mind.  Furthermore, cost cutting of  professional training and education and the lack of vertical advancement in organizations are creating a growing number of unhappy workers. Given these organizational constraints, employees seek to opt out by giving the organization the least amount of performance in order to keep their jobs.

Since the economic downturn, some employees are dissatisfied  with professional growth and career advancements in their jobs.  Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, note that managers need to be mindful how they make decisions that affect employees.

Downsizing and outsourcing are a way of life for most organizations.  However, many times low morale in these organizations is  attributed to how employees are treated in this process.  Jones and George further suggest that managers should show compassion and empathy for layoff victims, by providing  employees with as much advance notice as possible about the layoff, and giving  clear information about severance benefits.

After the layoff, they can  also assist layoff victims in their job search efforts. These are a few of the ways in which managers can humanely manage a layoff. Richard Daft, author of Management, explains the importance of motivating employees:  “One secret for success in organizations is motivated and engaging employees. Most people begin a new job with energy and enthusiasm, but employees can lose their drive if managers fail their role as motivators.”

Therefore, managers need to inspire followers to minimize the number of individuals who ‘opt out’ in organizations.  Employees play a critical role in determining if they will ‘opt out.’ Marsha Sinetar, author of Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow, notes that the lingering consequences of employees who only work to obtain a paycheck: “Most of us think about our jobs or our careers as a means to fulfill responsibilities to families and creditors, to gain more material comforts, and to achieve status and recognition. But we pay a high price for this kind of thinking.”

Yet, if organizations are to be successful, they can’t afford their workers to be ‘opting out’ and providing less than superior performance against the backdrop of global forces. 

Discuss how managers can inspire employees toward greater job satisfaction.

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green

 

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                                    

 

 

 

Beating the Global Competition with Value Creation

I do struggle a little with my conscious.  Yes, I’ve been called a pretty hard nose professor who pushes his students.  I tell my students I have a low rating on empathy and mercy when it relates to missing my deadlines. 

However, even the meanest Scrooge would have to have compassion for over 15 million unemployed in America.  But—it becomes personal as you hear about your neighbors, co-workers, and family members who have been laid off. 

Financial institutions and other businesses hold on to their record profits for the ultimate use of their money.  Politicians call them job creators which is ironic since businesses primary motives are to make a profit, not give someone a job.

Companies chase emerging markets abroad. According to government estimates, an additional 1.2 million manufacturing jobs will disappear from America by 2018. If in the process a job is made, those are secondary considerations.

Only when business subscript to a business strategy that involves value creation can they hope to sustain profitability. In this paradigm workers are viewed as assets not liabilities.

Yet, many companies build their profitability on this simple equation. Companies seek to reduce their inputs (outsourcing labor, better technologies) to obtain ‘more profits.’ Yet, it’s pretty self-serving with little regard to  customers and employees.

The definition of value depends on the individual. For this discussion, value is defined as the net bundle of benefits the customer derives from a product of service.  Value is defined as the net bundle of benefits the customer derives from a product of service.  Most companies compete on low cost or differentiation strategy to create this value.

In emerging countries where wages are low, it is very difficult for America businesses to compete.  That is why many companies have opted to outsource some of their core functions abroad.  Yet, America’s strength has always been its innovation and creativity.  These attributes are key ingredients for an effective differentiation strategy.

John Gamble and Arthur Thompson, authors of Essentials of Strategic Management, further examined the concept of value as a strategic advantage: “The most appealing approaches to differentiation are those that are hard or expensive for rivals to duplicate.” Therefore, an effective value creation strategy can beat almost any competitor, globally and domestically. 

This reality is due to the fact that the organization is keenly attuned to the needs of their customers. If individuals keep the concepts of value creation in their mindset, they will be able to overcome many of the disruptive changes to come.

How does value creation relate to sustainability for today’s leaders? Discuss your professional experience with value creation. 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    


 

Indispensability for Professionals

 

Introduction

In the 1939 movie classic The Wizard of Oz, a cyclone sweeps Dorothy Gale and her little dog “Toto” to the magical land of Oz. Dorothy wonders through the land, meeting some strange characters.  There is the Scarecrow who desires a brain; the Tin Man who wants a heart; and the Cowardly Lion who hopes for courage. As Dorothy vows to help solve each of their individual problems, she gains power and influence that speaks to the concept of indispensability.

The future is filled with uncertainty. More and more jobs go abroad. Companies continue to shrink in size in hopes of being more competitive.  Business executives understand the power of technology and outsourcing to gain a business edge.

 However, many workers must rely on the good will of their employers to stay gainfully employed.  Sadly, many workers do not fully understand the merits of indispensability in their lives. Bloomberg Businessweek magazine editor Josh Tyrangiel called indispensability the new word of 2011. Tyrangiel notes, “How do we make people smarter and save them time?”

For my clients and students, I have emphasized the importance of building customer value in everything that they do. In fact, it is an attribute to one’s branding strategy to be unforgettable to others. However, many workers operate in the dark shadows of their organizations. Renowned preacher Richard S. Brown, Jr. proclaims to his audience, “Everyone wants to be outstanding but no one wants to stand out.” 

Yet, it is the “standing out” that catches everyone’s attention.  I’ve written several books on this new 21st-century theme, including Breaking Organizational Ties, Publishing for Professionals, and Job Strategies for the 21st Century. If you do the same things that you’ve always been doing, then you shouldn’t be surprised if you get the same results.

Gaining influence is therefore critical in achieving any substantial level of success in life. When an individual has a clear platform as an expert, people tend to listen.  In fact, a person can often gain more influence at work and in the community with a clear personal strategy. This article provides individuals with a proven method for becoming indispensable in their organizations in order to build sustainability in their professions.

The Current Market

With economic pressures, organizations look to streamline and drop processes and people that do not add value to their bottom-line. Some people sit back and hope that business will create more jobs. With a weak economic growth rate of 3%, these jobs will not rapidly appear anytime soon for the 15 million people still unemployed. This reality speaks to the record number (1.3 million) of “discouraged” workers as of last November. Discouraged workers are individuals not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available to them.

Coping Solutions

Indispensability means adding value to your customers and organization. In the classic sense, indispensability means being absolutely essential or necessary. Yet, it goes to the heart of being relevant. Kivi Miller, author of The Nonprofit Marketing Guide, argues it’s important to listener to your customers: “Every day presents an opportunity to learn more about the people you are trying to help and the people who are trying to help you.” Therefore, getting to know your target audience is critical.Are you indispensible to your organization or community? If not, why not? Being indispensable speaks the pressing needs of organizations to compete in a global environment.

The following are a few strategies for gaining indispensability in your organization: (a) Devote time to solving important problems for your customer; (b) Showcase your expertise on a variety of levels (blogs, media expert, etc.); (c) Be a great source of information by writing and speaking; (d) Champion a significant cause in a nonprofit organization such as United Way; (e) Become the linchpin that connects people with problems to people with solutions; and (f) Extend your network globally with social media platforms such as Linkedin.com. Emerging leaders and individuals on the fast track understand the benefit of being indispensable to advance their careers and gain a competitive advantage.

Conclusion

Everyone wants to feel needed. Yet, the concept of indispensability goes to the heart of gaining more influence in life. Legendary speaker Dale Carnegie understood the influential attributes of indispensability: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Therefore, one must be willing to understand the needs of others if he or she hopes to gain this type of influence that will sustain his or her career in the future.  

With millions of people searching for full-time employment, it pays to distinguish yourself from others by building skills that speak to the concept of indispensability.  Individuals need to retool their thinking about indispensability before it is too late.

If the concept of indispensability is the solution for America’s professionals in the future, can today’s unemployed workers capitalize on this attribute?  If yes, how?  

© 2011 by Daryl D. Green

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