Anyone who has been looking for opportunities to generate income lately probably has already noticed that it takes a lot more effort and time to find an opportunity than it did a few years ago. People with great personality and expertise in a chosen field are spending months and even years trying to land a job or grow a struggling business.
Over-saturated markets, outsourcing, and advancements in technologies have changed the marketplace leaving workers and entrepreneurs off track. The owner of the “mom and pop” store and the dislocated worker knows “something is rotten in the state of Denmark (Hamlet Act 1, scene 4, 87-91),” but they are at a loss as to what as gone awry.
As early as 1991, the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS), funded by the U.S. Department of Labor issued a report entitled SCANS and the New Vocationalism, on the “competencies, skills, and personal qualities needed to succeed in the high performance workplace.” The report listed the challenges that needed to be addressed by schools, parents, and businesses so that students would develop the following competencies needed to effectively transition from school to the future workplace:
- Resources-Identifies, organizes, plans, and allocates resources.
- Interpersonal-Works with others on teams, teaches others, serves clients, exercises leadership, negotiates, and works with diversity.
- Information-Acquires, organizes, interprets, evaluates, and communicates information.
- Systems-Understands complex interrelationships and can distinguish trends, predict impacts, as well as monitor and correct performance.
- Technology-Works with a variety of technologies and can choose appropriate tool for task.
A few of the paradigm shifts brought out in the report were projected to have ensured that prospective job seekers could meet current employer expectations in addition to developing strong entrepreneurs are as follows:
- Teach students to explore employer expectations.
- Teachers should retreat from being the sole source of information in the classroom and delegate more responsibility to students for their own learning.
- Early career education, starting with the individualized career plan in grade 9, and establish a tech prep path that arranges the study of mathematics, science, communications, technology, and specific technical skills in a step-by-step progression of coordinated curricula.
- Develop in students the academic, occupational, and employable competencies at both secondary and postsecondary levels that enable employment.
Career Resource 101 will help those looking to build upon their most unique talents and marketable services and at the same time use today’s technologies to connect with people and organizations with they have a common interest. As they collaborate together, they will learn about current industries and find income opportunities.
Master the following skills that will bring ultimate success:
- Develop and execute a plan for success.
- Integrate the creativity in your search that will help you stand out above your competition.
- Utilize current technologies to establish and grow a network.
You will need to be sure that what you have to offer is marketable. Whether you are seeking employment or looking to start a business, your skills or service must satisfy a current need. It may be more profitable to adapt to industry standards or choose a different field.
Download and complete the Career Resource 101 Worksheet, “Identify Marketable Skills.” This exercise is the first step in developing a plan.
Go to next lesson: Your objective
- Job seekers: How do you rate with employers? (eurekalert.org)
- How to stay ahead in your workplace (independent.co.uk)
- Critical Thinking in an Online World (library.ucsb.edu)
- A College Degree and a Dollar Will Get You Four Quarters (education.com)
- Digital Librarian: Employment (digital-librarian.com)