Swimming with sharks


In this competitive professional world there are many factors you have to keep in mind for survival. It is very easy to fall prey to sharks out there, which is why you have to be prepared for self defense. Self defense requires tools and skills which will help you not only protect your job, or get a new one, but will also help you succeed in the professional world.
‘The key to success is not your intelligence but your adaptability,’ I read once and over the course of my career this is something I have learned. It is absolutely vital to keep yourself up to date with the changing professional world. I have had many discussions with many people affected by the economy downturn in US and all of them were very comfortably working at one place for many years without sharpening up their respective skill-sets. I refer to those people as small aquarium fish, but once the tank breaks, they are out in the open sea with deadly sharks and they don’t stand a chance competing against.
Working in US at a senior management level for the past 14 years, I have studied the corporate world very closely and one thing which I find detrimental for the candidates is to stay where they are and not getting up to speed with industry changes. No matter which industry you work for there would be a time when your services will not add any value to the company and people are let go even if you have served the same company for many years. Keep in mind that the learning never stops so strive for increasing your knowledge base with the passage of time. By keeping yourself informed about industry changes and learning the industry buzz words makes you score brownie points in front of your boss as well as help you in job interviews.
My message for jobseekers is to reorient their focus rather than lose heart. Instead of keeping your search open ended, try to find the special skills you have which no one else can offer in the market. Whether it is your inter-personal or sales/marketing or technical skills, you can easily use them in your favour. One more important thing I want to call out here is that the resume should be geared towards highlighting your key strengths and should be keyword driven. You don’t have to write tons of information just to show the employer that you are the master of everything but only show relevant strengths which will make you the best fit for the job.
Once you have your foot in door for the interview then you can easily provide details on your experience. No one is above you so your confidence should never shake. Always be sure about what you say or do and if you don’t know you should just admit it instead of making stuff up. The important thing is to show that you are eager to learn and can quickly pick things up. This shows your confidence and it is appreciated anywhere in the world. People are always under the impressions that they are doing everything right and still don’t see any results but that’s not true, you have to have a competitive edge over others. I want the youth and young professionals to put the game face on and get prepared to face the challenges with an effective approach. I read somewhere, ‘the ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage’. The professional world was always like this, where you are out in the wild against the deadliest competitors so preparing yourself to be successful is very important. It will help you swim with sharks without been eaten up by one of them.