If you have been following me for while on my blog, you have probably already realized how little I talk about CVs and applying for jobs. There is a reason behind it and it’s because I believe that applying for jobs is an incredibly ineffective strategy and because I believe that a static sheet of paper, called CV, will become obsolete in the near future.
Now, if you have only a few years to go until retirement, please feel free to ignore my advice here and keep doing what you do. The coming revolution in employment is probably not going to affect you.
However, if you are just starting out in your career or are right in the middle of it, I suggest you think about what a career transition or career development in the future could look like.
I try to pass on a fragment of how I see employment in the future in this article to you and then you can go ahead and agree or disagree with me.
My View of the Future
The world is changing ever faster.
As this story about the Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894 illustrates, things can change very quickly into directions we were not able to imagine before.
How will career transition or career development look like in 5 or 10 years? I think nobody knows that but there are indications.
In a world where we are facing an incredible inflation in education and you can’t rely on a Ph.D or your experience to get you a job because everybody seems to have a Ph.D and there is always somebody out there with more experience to show on a CV than you, how can employers choose employees and vice versa?
I believe that in the future people will connect with each other based on passion, values and interests before they decide to work together.
If you go to work every day with a mediocre attitude because what you do at work does not match why you believe you exist, it’s difficult to become a high performer and even more difficult to be happy and fulfilled.
Doing something you love every day and working with people who respect you for who you are instead of your job title or your experience is a very different story.
I count myself to those people who get to wake up every morning to do work they love and at the same time have a positive impact on others.
So what’s the benefit for organizations to hire passionate people?
A good sales person who simply wants to get a paycheck every month may generate revenue X. However, a great sales person who loves what she does because it matches her WHY, may produce 1000X in revenue and at the same time start and finish work with a big smile on her face.
Have you ever worked with a boss or co-workers you were simply not able to find common ground and both sides felt offended by each other during discussions? Have you ever worked at a company where it just did not feel like the right place for you?
That’s what happens when you don’t share similar values.
On the other hand, have you ever talked to somebody and got incredibly excited during the conversation? Have you ever said to yourself after a conversation “We really clicked!”?
That’s what happens when two people share similar values.
Which situations would you prefer to encounter during your 8-12 hours at work per day?
The future needs passionate leaders who possess similar values like the people they work with. How are you supposed to put that on a CV?
The CV that we know today became part of a career in the early 19th century and fitted perfectly into the industrial age. Since then it evolved from paper to digital and changed its form to visual resumes, social media profiles and even video CVs.
However, the content or the idea of the CV did not change. It is supposed to provide an overview over skills, experience, education, all the things people have done in the past.
In a world where the past becomes less important than the future and where skills and Ph.Ds are a commodities, how are we supposed to differentiate ourselves from others?
When an hiring manager has reduced the pile of CVs down to the last 20 and all of them look similar on paper, who should he pick?
Who Do You Know?
Imagine yourself walking into a shopping center because your partner asked you to buy laundry detergent.
You walk to the section with the cleaning materials and you stand in front of a wall with 100 different brands who all promise the same: Clean clothes.
Which one do you pick? I struggle with choices like that myself a lot when I go shopping.
I usually do one of two things. I either pick the one from the last TV advert I saw or I call a friend who appears to be knowledgable in this topic and ask for a recommendation.
So my decision is either influenced by well-done branding or a recommendation from a friend.
Many employers already choose their employees either because they know that person already or because the person is referred from a trusted mutual connection. When CV piles get bigger and companies close themselves more and more to outside applicants, it matters a lot to have connections on the inside or to be seen as an authority in your industry or profession.
Join the Career Network Switzerland on LinkedIn to expand your professional network in Switzerland. See if you can find people who work at the companies you are interested to learn more about and reach out to them.
Tools for Future Career Success
I believe it has never been easier than today to become connected to people on the inside or to become an authority. Here are 3 things you can start doing today to achieve Career Excellence in the future:
- Start a blog and tell the world about your passion, your view of the world, your experience or anything that matters
- Host an event for industry professionals and invite speakers and guests from within your profession
- Ask everybody you meet who they know in your industry or profession you can connect with
Preparing for the Future
I recently had lunch with a seasoned Chief Financial Officer with a track record that is hard to beat in his industry.
He told me that when he started looking for new career opportunities he thought because of his impressive experience and track record, companies would be waiting for him. Unfortunately, there was nobody waiting.
During his career, he was so focused on daily business and solving issues that he had neglected his professional network and his contacts became dusty business cards in the drawer of his desk.
Preparation for a successful career tomorrow starts yesterday, unfortunately that is too late. Therefore I highly suggest you start today.