Archives for posts with tag: talent


Did you ever stop and ask yourself, “How does the global job market affect me?” In the new plug-n-play world, what happens in other countries has more impact than you might think.

The current problem of unemployment in developing countries resulted from of a period of rapid but unbalanced development. The world’s population has tripled in the past 70 years with most of the growth coming from outside the US. 

Meanwhile, faster rates of economic growth, particularly in Asia, have accelerated job creation outpacing the growth of the available labor force. Lower birth rates, higher levels of education and higher rates of economic growth are gradually restoring the balance between population and employment opportunities globally.

The world is now in the early stages of another demographic revolution, which will have a significant impact on the future of employment worldwide – a steep decline in the birth rate and an increase in life expectancy in economically advanced countries. The result of these trends will be a reduction in the number of young people entering the job market and a surge in the size of the elderly population.

50% of the population in industrialized countries is now in the dependent age groups, which includes those under 15 and those over 65. As the old age population grows, the working age population will shrink even more. By 2013, it’s estimated that the labor-force growth in the US will be almost zero resulting in a shortage of 17 million working age people by 2020. China will be short 15 million and India is expected to have a surplus of 45 million workers.

Another trend that has been developing for years is finally starting to create problems. It’s not a shortage of jobs, but a lack of skilled workers. Low skilled manufacturing jobs have been exported to lower wage developing countries. At the same time, the demand for workers with higher levels of technical knowledge has been rising rapidly. Consequently there is less demand for older workers who have not continued to upgrade their knowledge and skills.

Rising skill requirements combined with a shortage of skills is creating a growing disparity between the skills of the workforce and the needs of the economy. Numerous studies confirm the existence of a substantial shortage of workers with the required level of skills to fill vacant positions. The technical skills shortage applies to jobs in almost every sector. Even in India, which produces 400,000 engineers annually, corporations are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified workers.

The proportion of adults over 60 in high-income countries is expected to increase from 8% to 19% by 2050, while the number of children will drop by one third. The aging of the population is leading to labor shortages, skills shortages and an increased tax burden on the working population in order to support social security income for the increasing retired population.

Migration is also increasing between industrialized countries as well as from developing to industrialized countries. Outsourcing began with the migration of manufacturing jobs to lower wage developing countries. With the increasing business transactions tied to the Internet, manufacturing positions have declined and now represent less than 25% of jobs in most countries. Service and knowledge industry employment has become 85 % of all civilian employment in most countries. This trend is also accompanied by a major expansion of temporary and part-time positions resulting from companies trying to maintain a flexible work team to hedge against fluctuations in the economy.

Yes, just like to Disney song, “It’s a Small World After All”, we are seeing that we truly are part of a global family. It’s actually nothing new. The Internet is showing us a connected world that has really been there all the time.


A man ran into a friend on the street one day and asked his friend if he was still in the junk business. His friend smiled and said, “No, I’m an antique dealer.” His friend asked, “How did you get into that line of work?” “Oh, it was easy. I just changed the sign on my store from junk to antiques.”

Take a look at today’s job market and you’ll see that how you are perceived has a lot to do with your marketability and perceived value. Packaging is important! Go to a grocery store and notice that most people will not buy a can of corn that is dented even though the contents are fine. Perception is reality.

Consider this true story: A violin player played in a Washington, DC metro station for 45 minutes. During that time, 2000 people walked through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule. Four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw the money in his tip hat and continued to walk.  Within 10 minutes, a 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother encouraged him to keep walking. The child stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head toward the performer. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk by.  The man collected $32. After he finished playing, no one applauded. No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, a world famous musician. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

To become remarkable AND marketable, you need to portray yourself on-line and off-line as exceptional among your professional peers. Your LinkedIn profile, your resume, the books you read, your Twitter contacts, events you attend, where you market your talent and your social network are all clues to others about who you are and either identify you as ordinary or EXTRAORDINARY.

Today, more than ever, you need to curate a digital and in-person persona that radiates your talent and identifies you as a valuable resource within your area of expertise.

Take a moment and look in the mirror. What do you see? Adlerian psychology reminds us that all behavior is purposeful. What you invest your time and effort in will ultimately determine your career success and define who you are to others.

You will become the person you think you are. How you perceive yourself and how others perceive you are the secret ingredients to becoming REMARKABLE.

Perhaps having a clear picture of what you want to be is the secret to becoming what you were meant to be.

The key to survival in the new employment marketplace is to develop a digital infrastructure that’s focused on multiple income streams and cash flow instead of an annual salary from one company. Now that it’s easier, faster and cheaper to launch a web business than ever before, developing your own personal business brand has to be more than just great design or service.

In his book, Pour Your Heart into It¸ Howard Schultz, the founder and CEO of Starbucks wrote that he founded Starbucks because of a cup of watered-down, bland instant coffee that he was served on a flight to Canada. Prior to the arrival of Starbucks, many Americans had never tasted cappuccinos, lattes, and espresso. Despite the high cost to maintain a coffee shop, Schultz figured out a way to charge $3.00 for a cup of premium coffee while gas stations charged $.75 a cup. He was convinced that if he could introduce a “coffee culture”, his new company would become one of the most recognized brands in the world.

Schultz opened up Starbuck’s coffee houses that were furnished to look like a combination of a living room and a reading room. Then he introduced new names to describe the coffee options .The baristas (Starbucks employees) educated their customers about coffee in a brand new and passionate light. Rather than purchasing a Styrofoam cup of bland coffee from a gas station, coffee purchases became social experiences.

Ultimately, the higher price of the coffee was dwarfed by the intimate and extraordinary experience provided by Starbucks. Howard Schultz achieved product differentiation by just focusing on the simple process of buying a cup of coffee. He chose to layer his product in a package of multiple benefits that made customers feel connected AND loyal to Starbucks.  Here’s how you can “own your own niche” as “talent” not just someone looking for work.

Differentiate What You Can Offer

·         Analyze what products or services already exist and see what your potential competition has in common with what you might offer. Don’t try to be different just to stand out. Think through what you can eliminate, what you can add and how you can create a truly creative offer that helps people get what they want.

Focus on a Customer Niche

·         Give yourself a competitive edge by focusing on making yourself the go-to person for a target group of customers i.e. ex-military clients, people over 50 or possibly high school students.

Become a Niche Expert

·         To stand out from your competition, you need to become the expert in your market – identify a level of expertise beyond your competition.

Work Your Brand

·         Consumers are paying less attention to comparisons between companies that do the same thing. If you can connect with your audience on more levels than your competitors, you’ll ultimately get new customers who are attracted to your brand, not just your niche.

Rebrand Your Customers

·         To maintain your niche, think of new ways to build another niche market from an existing one. Consider re-branding your customers like the airlines did. They created status levels and frequent flier miles to give loyal customers another reason to stay with that airline instead of just switching airlines to get a better fare.

Starbucks used niche marketing to attract customers who expected more than just coffee. Customers come to be a part of the coffee shop experience as a neighborhood gathering place. Through deliberate product differentiation, Starbucks has become synonymous with coffee. Start now to own your own “niche” as “talent” not just someone searching the job boards looking for work. If Howard Schultz did it by selling a simple cup of coffee, you can do it too.

In the early days of NASA’s attempt to explore space they faced a seemingly impossible problem.

How could they make a material that could stand up to the heat generated by the re-entry of a spacecraft? They had to find a material that would not melt. Countless trials ended in failure because the heat was so intense.

They solved that problem by focusing on finding a material that would melt. The solution was to add a shell that would melt off as the craft re-entered the earth’s atmosphere.

If you can’t find a solution, maybe you need to change the problem.

In the old world of work, the solution was to find a job where you could develop a career and work your way into management. You expected an average annual salary increase of 4 – 5% and earned accumulating weeks of vacation based on your years of service to a company.

In the new status quo, multiple employers are becoming the norm and the new solution is to develop several streams of income, ideally with one involving a residual income.

Your problem is NOT to get a job, it’s to DO a job for multiple customers (employers).

Your NEW challenge (problem) is to get multiple employers (customers) to provide you a diversified stream of income based on your delivery of solutions that help them make money, save money or solve a problem.

Start using this mindset and your job search will take a different perspective and offer you far more employment security than most people have ever had. Employment security used to come from a company, now it needs to come from YOU and the talent you offer.

Now more than ever, you need to focus on what you’re doing AND where you are going. Decide what you want and then build a bridge to get it. Your solution is to change the problem and come up with a new solution.

Changing the problem may be as simple as focusing on these 4 things.

  1. Who you know.
  2. Who knows YOU?
  3. What talent is your personal brand?
  4. The quality of your relationships.

How many people would work for Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group, for 90 days without pay, just to get insights into to improving their personal brand? You need to focus on your long-term “market value”, not just how much money you make now.

Focus on the results you can produce, build a reputation as an expert, and establish a network of quality relationships to watch your market value and income increase automatically.

Change Your Thoughts to Change Your World – Change The Problem to Discover New Solutions.


A few weeks ago, Microsoft sold 960,000 Xbox 360s, making it the best selling week in the console’s history.
That makes the Xbox 360 one of their hottest product launches ever in terms of units sold per day!

After selling 8 million units in 60 days, the Kinect holds the Guinness World Record of being the “fastest selling consumer electronics device.”

But wait! The Xbox 360 is 6 years old.
The technology is essentially the same as it was when the console first came out.
How can this happen?
It’s the magic of repurposing.

Microsoft developed a motion sensing input device for the Xbox 360 video game console called a Kinect.
It enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller using gestures and spoken commands.  But the real magic came from Microsoft’s repurposing of its technology tied to its Xbox console.

Microsoft released a non-commercial and eventually a commercial Kinect software development kit for Windows 7 that allows .NET developers to write Kinecting apps that can be used for non-gaming applications.

Kinect reset the console lifecycle, turning a 6 year old game machine into something that feels brand new again.

So how can you repurpose yourself?

For many job searchers, reINVENTING themselves is difficult because it requires them to radically change their skill sets.
Going back to school or starting a new business is often not an option due to immediate financial considerations.

The solution may be to rePURPOSE yourself.
Take your core talents and explore ways to apply what you know to a different corporate or customer base.

Microsoft did it by expanding their gaming customer base to include software developers who took their core gaming technology and applied it to different applications.

French technologists repurposed Kinect as a gesture recognition system that can read and translate basic sign language. With more development, this could be a system for deaf or hearing-impaired users or a software tool to teach sign language.  Take a look:

Are the jobs you’re looking for focused on what you’ve done in the past, or are they related to what you can do for new end-users and/or employers in a more valuable or different way?

A repurposed “job search perspective” may be just the magic (mindset) you need to feel brand new again.

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