Job seekers: the new breed of entrepreneur?

Job seekers the new breed of entrepreneur are now an integral part of today’s job search landscape

I was chatting to a girlfriend recently who wanted to talk about her career options. She didn’t know really what she wanted to do – but she did have strong ideas about what she didn’t want to do – “nothing entrepreneurial” she  told me emphatically. The sub-text was that this was a bit risky, possibly slightly pushy (all that ghastly selling) and maybe even vaguely tacky, just  too reminiscent of Alan Sugar and the Apprentice for comfort.  She just wanted to find a normal job.

But what is a normal job and can it be found normally?

I think she’s due for a wake up call.

On line job search

The internet has revolutionised our lives in so many ways especially the way and speed in which we do things and exchange information. The recruitment process, as with many other sectors has been dramatically impacted and is constantly evolving in response to technological advancement.

The goal posts are moving

HR Managers claim that thousands of applicants per vacancy is commonplace. 99% of recruiters use on-line media and search engines to identify and source candidates as well as direct advertising, network searches and social media promotion. There is no longer a single standard way to find top talent. Entry level candidates compete even for unpaidemployment .   

“For every 1,470 resumes, there ’s 1 job offer made and accepted” – Richard Bolles, bestselling author, What Color is Your Parachute?

Phrases such as  personal branding,  career management, raised visibility and Google ranking  have slipped imperceptibly into the career coaching lexicon. The goal posts are moving faster than you can say Messi or Ronaldo. Today’s “normal ” may have reached its shelf life before the Q4 results are released.

The days when we could join a company and stay with it until retirement are  long gone.   Will retirement  even exist as a concept for future generations? The truth is we don’t  know.  What we do know is that there are no guarantees.

We are also learning that we have to do things differently and if we don’t we’ll get left behind.

Doing things differently

So as I coach people in enhancing their competitive edge by recognising their added value and looking for metrics to demonstrate that, identifying their USPs, creating a personal brand, increasing their visibility via different media to just the optimum level (not over doing it to become a nuisance factor), protecting their on-line image, topped off by the perfectly pitched elevator sound bite, for casual and appropriate introduction on all occasions and functions,  it strikes me that this is actually probably no different to a company running its operations and  launching a product on the market.

Does this mean that we all now have to become mini entrepreneurs in our job ( opportunity)  seeking efforts and that managing a career is now like managing a business ?

Both require  creative thinking,  identifying  target markets,  an effective product launch, closing the deal , client relationship management,  long term planning and maintenance, underpinned by sound  on – going investment.

So yes …I guess it does.

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7 thoughts on “Job seekers: the new breed of entrepreneur?

  1. Gaurav Chauhan

    I agree.
    Even though I do what is called a normal job, but I see myself in the business of selling my services. Extending your analogy from marketing to finance side, its all about maximising wealth as one of the key indicators to watch out; whether its a business or career. To maximise that wealth which I will measure through my NPV just like any other asset valuation. To maximise my NPV either I could sell my services through an established corporate job which will ultimately bundle my services with others in the company and sell to external customers or I can sell my services through an entrepreneurial route directly to external customers.
    I see many fundamental similarities in the structure although operating dynamics may be entirely different; just like in any other business.

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  3. Dorothy Dalton

    Hi Gaurav – thanks for your excellent thoughts! I agree , managing the financial side of a career / job search( life?) has so many parallels with business entrepreneurship. I hope we are currently experiencing a more general sea change in attitude towards career planning. For most people it is something quite haphazard and unstructured, until there’s a crisis! As someone said, then the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

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