This is not a news flash-the party is over. Long gone are the days where you work for one employer your entire career, collect a pension and retire with your golden ring. The economy and market changed several years ago to one that saw employees jumping ship like a game of musical chairs and employers snatching from competitors like thieves in the night. The end result was job seekers with an over-inflated view of their true worth in the marketplace and companies that were mistaken in their belief that all they had to do was open the doors and the best would come.
If they have a job, the best job seekers are increasingly picky. The prevailing thought is to stay put unless you have to move. Companies are still playing the, wait until we find the perfect person, interview game. This system of hiring is busted. It is made up of slow/or no hiring, frustrated candidates, delayed projects and stressed out companies. Should a company keep under-performing (define as you will) employees because they cannot find the fit they need? Should a job seeker settle for a lower paying job with less challenge to pay the bills (topic for another blog)?
Take this real world example - Terrel Owens was let go, fired, by the Dallas Cowboys. Terrel is widely considered one of the better receivers in the NFL but his employer grew tired of his team dividing attitude. He was fired not due to a lack of performance but because he was not a good team player. Obviously this can happen at any company so this football analogy applies across industries. According to the experts, the demand was not going to be there for him. He would have a tough time finding another team (job) because of his attitude. But low and behold, up steps a new team. Terrel is already wearing a new uniform; less than a week after being fired. Did Terrel settle? The team he went to is nowhere near playoff or championship caliber. Did the team hire an under-performing player or a bad apple because they were desperate and could not attract anyone else?
You may not be in this situation. You think your job is stable, your employer is doing well and you are not worried. This line of thinking would be naive at best and insane at its worst. Be prepared by knowing who you are and also your accomplishments. If someone were to ask you what you do for a living, could you immediately jump into your elevator pitch? Can you explain your success? Is your resume up to date? Have you reached out to and reconnected with your network? If you have not done these things as a minimum, you are going to be caught flat footed, wondering what to do next.