Often my coaching clients say that the job market has changed dramatically and job hunting is a whole new ball game. Traditionally, responding to an advert and being the best person for the job was all that was needed. Today, a whole new mindset is required, as we have to compete with a global market for local jobs. This is specifically the case in the IT industry.
In the IT industry, an employee or contractor may spend most of their time in front of a computer screen creating complex products. The contract comes to an end or the employer decides to outsource or downsize and this highly skilled person is out looking for the next contract.
How do you find your next contract?
How do you communicate your skill set to potential employers or people offering contracts when your main interaction is with a computer? Most people I speak to search on Seek, Monster or other job sites. If you are, or might ever find yourself in this situation, the challenge is, ‘How will you differentiate yourself from potentially hundreds of other people who are also applying for these roles?’
Most job seekers only put themselves out into the market when they need a job or a contract ends. They need work and so the stakes are high. Becoming an attractive commodity in today’s market requires a completely different set of skills and the most important one is a change in mindset.
Changing your mindset
To compete in today’s IT job market, you must shift your mindset from one of seeing yourself as an employee or contractor to one of self-employment. The biggest mistake anyone can make at work is to believe that someone else employs them. Each of us is the CEO of our own personal services company. If you think you are an employee, you will be waiting for someone to select you for a job. You must turn this on its head and make yourself attractive well before you even begin to seek a new position. You are the supplier and you must seek clients to use your services rather seeing yourself as an employee or contractor and a company being the boss.
How do clients and suppliers get together?
1. Ensure you can be found
You must showcase your skills on a dedicated website, social media page or appropriate directory. This is the minimum you must do to be found by someone who is searching for a skilled worker.
2. Become an exquisite communicator.
You must succinctly communicate what you do so potential clients have evidence to predict your ability to do the job. You must include evidence of you results and communicate this in such a way that the client wants to know more. This information shouldn’t just be a list of technologies you are conversant in but evidence of how you have utilised these to solve problems and achieve outcomes.
3. Become a trusted supplier.
Trust is one of the most important attributes you must possess in today’s market. This doesn’t mean are you reliable and turn up to work. It means that you can provide real evidence that you can do what you say you can beyond answering questions in an interview.The way to do this is to consistently ‘exist’ in the market through contributing ideas, suggestions and responses in your subject area and the best way to do this is in online and offline discussions. You must prove that you are the expert. You must promote yourself long before you are looking for work because when clients are continually exposed to you before they are looking for suppliers, then you will remember you as soon as they have a vacancy.
Most people when invited to see themselves as a supplier to a client, reveal a pre-existing mindset that must change. If you feel similar resistance or find yourself in unfamiliar territory, you must now develop a self-employed mindset regardless of the type of contract you enter into with a supplier. If not, you will rely on your resume to convey your skills in an attempt to stand out from hundreds of other people who are equally skilled and looking for work.
Changing your mindset requires dedication and a deliberate choice to do so, knowing that ‘when you have been doing something wrong for a while, doing it right is going to feel wrong’.
If you want to stay marketable in today’s job arena, you must change your mindset so that you see yourself as the CEO of your own personal services company and then ensure you can be found, become an exquisite communicator and a trusted supplier.
For tips and strategies on changing your mindset and developing these skills, join our regular webinars: https://communicate31.com/webinars/