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First Steps in Building Career Security      

Dr. Greg Ketchum, 2/7/04

Review of Economy
We continue to have a very mixed picture on the jobs/economy front. The economy continues to grow, yet added only 1000 jobs in December.

  • Kraft Foods will eliminate 6,000 jobs, and close 20 plants worldwide, with1,300 of those being in North America
  • Consumer confidence (short term) hit an 18 year high in Jan, but confidence in improvements in the jobs picture remains weak & volatile.
  • Alan Greenspan said in a recent speech that he’s confident new jobs will replace those lost as they always have, but “not without a high degree of pain for those caught in the job-losing segment of America’s massive job-turnover process.” He also indicated that many laid-off workers will need to be retrained for new skills.
  • The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent in January to the lowest level in more than two years as companies added just 112,000 new jobs - fewer than expected but enough to keep alive hope for a turnaround in the struggling job market. But economists were disappointed, saying they had expected a larger increase of 150,000 new jobs or more

Brings Home the End of Job Security
All of this news brings home the fact that job security as we knew it is over and highlights the need for our viewers to begin creating “career security” for themselves.

Where Do I Start?
Our viewers may be thinking, “gee that’s a great idea, but where do I start?” Well, we’ve got three action steps to get you started, but first let’s talk about a couple of fundamentals.

  • Buyers Market: It’s a buyer’s market, meaning companies are looking for people with specific skills who can “come in & move the ball forward.”
  • Your Career is Your Business: Being a biz owner, you are selling.

3 Fundamental Skills
Regardless of your current situation, whether employed, consulting, starting or running your own business, unemployed or temping, these are 3 of the basic skills that you need to know to get you started on creating career security for yourself. They are also skills you can do at your own pace.

Action Steps

  1. Know What You’re Selling
    Being a business “owner” (your career) one of your main jobs is selling yourself, and the value you can bring. You’ve got to know what you’re selling, what is valuable in the market. Identify 3 key selling points that differentiate your from everyone else.
  2. Know How to Sell
    Learn the basics of selling. You’ve got to know how to sell yourself and your ideas, whether in a company, consulting, running your own business or temping.
  3. Know Something About Business & Buyers
    Finally, you’ve got to understand your “buyers” and how business works, which includes knowing how companies make money.

Taking these 3 steps will begin to lay the foundation of creating career security for yourself, regardless of your current situation. Next time we’ll talk about the next 3 steps you can take to move you further towards your goal of creating career security.


Know what You’re Selling

  • UC Santa Cruz Extension: http://www.ucsc-extension.edu/main For example, Career Success: Assessing Your Strengths and Building Them into an Effective Job Search

  • The Brand You 50: Or : Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! by Tom Peters

Know how to Sell

Know Business & Your Buyers

Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers might have said he was optimistic about the economy continuing to improve, but that optimism didn't extend to Wall Street. Though Chambers expressed optimism, a disappointing outlook for tech spending from Cisco put investors in a selling mode Wednesday, with tech stocks taking the brunt of the punishment. Both the InformationWeek 100 and the Nasdaq Composite index took big hits as investors grew cautious and turned toward blue chips and away from tech issues and small-cap stocks.

Successful Money Management City College SF, Continuing Ed.
Determine your personal financial goals and develop the financial plans to meet them. Topics covered include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRA, ROTH IRA, SEP IRA, 401k, & 403b. Learn about investment basics; think like a financial winner; earn more dollars on your savings; and avoid paying more taxes than necessary

How to Succeed in Your Own Small Business City College SF, Continuing Education
There is more to creating a successful business than having a great idea. In addition to marketing a product and making sure there is enough cash, business owners need to avoid common mistakes and take advantage of good advice. Learn concrete steps necessary to take to market, promote, and manage businesses more effectively.

If you’ve got work or career topics you’d like to see us address, just send me an email at drgreg@talentplanet.com.

®2004 All rights reserved. Gregory A. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Career Advice

Dr. Greg is the “KRON 4 (San Francisco) Workplace and Career Expert”

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