Lifetime Employability

As we navigate through the changes that are occurring in the workplace I think it’s important to consider your options with an eye toward lifetime employability, not lifetime employment.

“Where the jobs are” has become a critical focus for many and the news media regularly reports on the sectors that have created jobs, usually in the last month. While these news stories are useful because they provide directional information, they’re talking about the past. And the past is unlikely to predict the future when you’re in the midst of a structural change like we are in many, if not all, of our corporate environments.

Technology has facilitated many of the structural shifts we’ve seen in jobs. We’ve all seen how it’s possible to replace several clerical workers with a good data management system and an IT person to administer it. These jobs are not coming back, nor should they. It’s progress and sometimes it hurts.

Rather than lament the past, instead we should be thinking like the business people we are. Rather than defining ourselves by a job title and all the stereotypes that come along with it, we should be objectively identifying what value we can offer to the workplace and then working to identify how to best leverage our unique benefit to employers who need—and will value–it.

In order to be employed we need to remain employable. Staying aware of where business is heading and challenging ourselves to develop the skills that are needed not only now but in the future is a sure path to job security. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so. In fact, lifelong skill building could provide not only an economic benefit but a health one as well. We know education and health correlate. Wouldn’t that be something? Imagine how different the world would be if working in corporate life made you healthier?

Amanda Mitchell is an executive coach and strategist specializing in helping senior executives deal with disruptive drama within their teams. An advertising agency veteran, she experienced first-hand the business implications of corporate drama both with her Fortune 500 clients and within the Manhattan ad agency she led. She founded Our Corporate Life (www.ourcorporatelife.com) to help executives solve the problems no one wants to deal with. She has been published in Bloomberg Businessweek, and quoted in Fast Company, CNBC.com, and Monster.com. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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