Another gloomy unemployment reporttoday—more than 400,000 Americans filed for benefits. The numbers are staggering, nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed and if you're one of those 14 million without a job ... life, well ... sucks.
So many of those without work have tried for months—even years to get a job ... but they can't.
In his new book "WORKAROUNDS THAT WORK: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work," Russell Bishop writes if you're without a job, maybe it's time to consider a "workaround"— a new way of thinking to remove those mental and physical blocks that prevent you from getting a job. Even if what's preventing you from getting a job is ... YOU.
Bishop makes the argument that you may not be moving forward because you're stuck, doing "the same old strategies and complaining about lack of results."
He says you need to stop making yourself part of the problem. Bishop's philosophy also applies to those who have job.
In the following Guest Author Blog Bishop talks about how it all begins by building your "Contribution Capital."
BUILDING YOUR "CONTRIBUTION CAPITAL"
Guest Author Blog: "Build Your Contribution Capital to Find a Job" by Russell Bishop author of "WORKAROUNDS THAT WORK: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work"
The head of HR for a major US company told me last week as we were flying back from Tokyo that her company would not even look at the resume from someone who didn’t already have a job! If you’re out there trying to find work, then you also know you’re up against at least a thousand other applicants for every potential job. How’s that for added pressure!
If you are going to move from victim to victor in this jobs market, you are going to have to find some refreshing ways to stand out. Everyone will tell you that you need to get over the desperation of being an applicant – desperation doesn’t wear well on anyone and certainly not on a job applicant. Instead, how about building your Contribution Capital?
You build Contribution Capital by developing an ownership mindset. The ownership I’m talking about doesn’t mean having a financial stake in the business; instead, ownership means investing in yourself and your prospective employer by developing clearly articulated contributions you can make. The key to building Contribution Capital is your willingness to assume full accountability and response-abilityfor your current situation and the outcome you would prefer.
Ownership means that if you are going to achieve your dreams rather than settle for the crumbs in today’s market, success is going to come down to you and how you choose to respond to the challenges in front of you.
As much as that has always been true, today’s stark job market points a high intensity spotlight on what you bring to the employment party and your willingness to become accountable for whatever changes you would like to see take place.
Successful owners forego somewhat natural tendencies to blame anyone or anything else for the challenges they face and instead keep contributing to their desired outcomes.
If you want to take charge of your current situation, here are two powerful questions that will help you stand out in the sea of me-too desperation:
Question 1: What can you do to make a difference that requires no one’s permission other than your own?
Question 2: What could you do to make a difference if you had permission, approval, support or cooperation?
As you look for your next opportunity, consider building your Contribution Capital in advance by investing in your prospective employer. Demonstrate that you are an owner by:
Identifying specific businesses that could use your skill, expertise or experience to solve specific problems
- Researching issues that your target company is facing, along with probable costs or risks
- Instead of focusing on what you can do for the prospective employer, build your Contribution Capital by developing robust contributions you can make:
- What could you do that would make a difference to that employer? How could you specifically help them make improvements on your own initiative?
- What could you do that would make a difference if others within the business got on board?
- What are the collaboration opportunities you could imagine and how could you show up as a value added member of the team?
Unless you are up against the employer who won’t even consider you unless you already have a job, these simple suggestions may help you stand out as someone who brings the ability to create solutions and develop value. Owners are always looking for other owners, those who are willing to contribute creatively and take response-ability for successful outcomes. Show them you are one who can be counted on to invest their own Contribution Capital.
Russell Bishop is the author of "WORKAROUNDS THAT WORK: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work"