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Career Coach Webinar; Career Insurance

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Career Coach WebinarCareer Insurance in today's marketplace cannot mean, like it did a generation ago: aiming to stay put in the same position, or company, industry or even career. Today it means aiming to stay employed, by staying employable and valuable to employers. How? By keeping current in the skills you have to offer. Learn how to discern which skills will be valuable and how to acquire them. Discover how to maintain an active network & keep your networking skills up to date, manage your public profile and keep aware of the constantly evolving needs in the marketplace.

This Career Coach Webinar video is from the Proformative webinar "Career Insurance" held on July 13, 2012.  The webinar features a presentation from Moshe Kravitz, Certified Five O'Clock Club, Career Coach.


Career Coach Webinar


Recently, I passed by a high school in my neighborhood, which was constructing a new building. This is not it, but it's very similar, and I was very struck. It's all metal framing. Where's the wood? Not only that, where's the rest of it? Where are the hammers? Where are the nails? The main question, where is the carpenter?

Well, the answer to that is, either the carpenter retools himself by learning new skills, how to operate those mnemonic devices, they put in the rivets, or whatever it needs. Either he's retooled, or else he's retired, and somebody else is doing the job. Now, that isn't the half of it because beyond that you have next prefab housing where they make the whole thing in the factory. The companies set it up, and all the construction workers are gone.

I'll tell you in fact another example of the same phenomenon when I worked in pensions. One of our major clients was a global tire manufacturing company. They froze their pension plans, paid out the employees, closed the factories, and built new factories to have robots making the tires, no employees, no pensions. Where are those  employees? A person in today's economy with today's technological advances either has to retool or he'll be retired.

However, one should not despair because in the same vein that companies are declining, other companies and industries are being created. This link will lead us to a slide that we'll see next, an actual slide used by the head data scientist of LinkedIn. He did this study, which shows you the comparison from 2007 until 2011, change in  employment percentages over many industry chairs.

If you see in the bottom left, the newspaper industry from 2007 until 2011 shrunk by 30% of its employment. On the other hand, you look up at the top, online publishing grew by close to 30%. While there are declining industries, there are growing industries, and that's where we want to focus because that is where the opportunities of the future lie.

Here's one case in point, the new apps economy, as it is referred to, in 2011 boasted close to 0.5 million employees. Whereas in 2007, it had zero. The question which we need to address is how to remain employable and valuable first and foremost to your current employer. In case, it may be to other potential employers even within your current company, or other companies in your industries, or perhaps other industries.

Start by looking out, look out to be aware of the emerging needs in the marketplace. Keep aware of those changing needs. First of all, as we said in your own current role, needs change, outward a little farther within your own company, within your profession, industry, economy, etc. I'll give you an example, my father-in-law was in the same company 29 years. Graduated, got his doctorate, went to work for Exxon as a chemical engineer formulating gasoline, and he retired from Exxon 29 years later.

That's not happening very often today in our economy, where things change so rapidly. Even in his case, even though he was at the same company for 29 years, he did not retire as a person who was formulating gasoline. He retired as VP of Ecology. I doubt that the word "ecology" existed when he came out of school and went to work for Exxon. He was doing something totally new, in a new industry so to speak, even though he might be sitting still in the same desk employed by the same company.

Keep aware of the changing needs in your environment and your industry. Listed here are some of the obvious ones. They're with us in our daily work. They're in the popular literature already. A person need not do much research if a person would just look at the email solicitations that he receives from software vendors trying to sell him software to address all the needs that a person has to work on. A person can be kept abreast of at least what needs are already current in the market, but there's more that a person could do.

He could look towards his professional associations. I recall that decades ago, the Society of Actuaries was working on behalf of their constituents of professional actuaries, looking to expand the job functions and the industries in which actuarial skills could be used. In addition to what you see on top, the traditional applications of insurance and pension, you have a whole list on the bottom over here - other industries, other risk-related functions where actuarial skills are welcomed and very valuable.

A person can turn to his own professional industry, professional association, and see if anything is being done at that macro level, so to speak, towards making other opportunities available for a financial professional, an accounting professional, etc.

Editor's Note: Take a look at Career Advancement Skills Webinar, Enterprise Performance Management Analytics Webinar, Managing Currency Risk Webinar Corporate Finance Technology Webinar and Business Planning Consolidation Webinar.

A person can learn new skills. You could be busy all day long learning new skills but you have to be strategic in them. Be strategic, first of all, in learning those skills which go with your personality, go with your experience, things that will enable you to get a good return on your investment in that learning.

Peter Drucker advises a person should never invest in trying to improve what he's worst at because he'll get a very poor return on investment. Not much improvement will ensue. However, he advises you should invest in what you're great at because there you'll see a great return on your investment.

One way to be strategic in deciding which new skills to learn is, "Which new skills are fitting with my talents, with my experience, etc.?" Also, you want to fit the new skills that you've chose to learn to, as I mentioned, new emerging needs. You can see the list. Read it for yourself, and I'll just discuss one of them, perhaps my favorite, the one at the bottom, chief profitability officer.

Jonathan Byrnes, who's mentioned at the bottom, he's a senior lecturer at MIT. I'm not sure if he coined the phrase, but he definitely uses it in his book, "Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink", which I recommend highly to everybody on this webinar. The new skill that he proposes is based on his thesis that 20% of your customers provide 150% of your profitability. Maybe not revenue, but profitability.

40% you break even, and 40% you lose money. If you can construct a granular profitability map by customer, by product, you can improve profitability easily by 50% or more without CapEx. Doing that is something achievable. It's high profile. It doesn't take a lot of technical skills. It takes time and effort. It takes knowing what you're doing. He guides you through it, and so that's a type of relevant skill a person could learn in order to keep himself valuable to a current employer, and at the same time make himself valuable to any potential other employer.

Some other new relevant skills, we all know there are technical skills and soft skills. Soft skills, by the way, are becoming much more emphasized in..."

End partial; Career Coach Webinar

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