In this job market, many factors are outside of our control. However, there is one thing that you can control: your career fitness. HR expert Peter Weddle wrote a great article on this subject for HigherEdJobs.com and his advice is relevant for those in any industry — whether currently employed or job seeking.
Jobs may come and go. Your company has all the power when it comes to your job security. However, you don’t need corporate approval to achieve career security, which Weddle defines as “your ability to find employment consistently and always in a job and with an organization that will enable you to express and experience your natural (and best) talent.”
You do this by building your expertise, expanding your network of contacts, increasing your versatility, and taking care of yourself. So if you’ve been spending all of your time applying for jobs and tearing your hair out over unresponsive hiring managers and bad employer decisions, it may be time to take a step back.
Looking for a job is hard work and requires persistence, thick skin, and patience. As a job seeker, you are not in control over most of the process. That can understandably be frustrating and exhausting. So it’s important that you make time for career fitness activities like taking classes, joining professional development organizations, and volunteering for pro bono projects. They will not only make you more marketable, but will help build your confidence as well.
A career fitness regimen is just as important for those that are currently employed — especially if you are staying in an unfulfilling job only because the market is currently so dismal. You want to be ready and qualified when a better opportunity comes along.
Achieving career fitness will not only help you land a better job now, it will position you for greater career security in the years to come.
As Weddle puts it: “The tide will come back in and, when it does, you can be ready to reset your course — you can be primed to reaccelerate your momentum in the workplace — if you are swimming with something on. If you have prepared yourself by building a fit career.”
I recommend reading the entire article for more advice on improving your career fitness.