My wife and I own a building we’ve been redecorating quite a bit in the last two years. There are challenges, and there were updates done that were seamless. There are useful analogies similar to building a future-proof career and the modern job search. Buildings and your career are similar because they require improvements to appreciate and add value. We can argue later how location has to do with its worth, but it does.
We can’t assume there is a solid foundation in both instances, so it’s important to have them tested. The house or building has to be inspected carefully and never overlooked because if it lacks a strong foundation, its worth is diminished greatly. We can assume the training and experience you’ve obtained will continue to add to your foundation for job seekers. Remember, employers, circumstances, and people who want to refer you will test your foundation.
I was recently on the “Who Ya Know” web show where one of the co-hosts, Trevor Houston, used a building analogy I thought would be interesting to explore. All of us, including Trevor’s co-hosts, Foster Williams and Mark Elder, rallied around this analogy. It was my favorite part of the show.
We are currently renovating a kitchen upstairs-intending to replace the Lazy Susan with a new one. Everything went as planned for all other work in the building except for the kitchen. We didn’t make any considerations in measuring the Lazy Susan, and as a result, we failed to finish the kitchen in the timeline we had established.
Your career and job search are similar to renovation.
Let’s keep in mind your career depreciates if you’re not renovating, just as a building loses its worth if you don’t. Renovation is related to buildings, as reinvention or innovation is more relevant to your job search and career. I advocate to constantly and consistently increase your value, so you’ll continually add worth.
The recreation shouldn’t stop overall progress.
When we decided to wait for the right size Lazy Susan for the kitchen, a lot of work still needed to be done in the rest of the building. Similarly, this shouldn’t happen to your job search, but the propensity of most job seekers is to stop adding value to other areas important to impress employers. You can’t allow training or the discovery of new learning to stop your overall growth and career advancement.
You can’t expect growth by doing just enough.
If you’re learning something new, change must follow. Learning itself doesn’t create growth unless applied to test whether it’s true or false. A slight change may be a need for the training to work. Although I don’t do personal training anymore, there is a practice that applies here. Growth is necessary, and it takes time.
Before training anyone, an assessment is needed to prescribe the correct exercise program for each individual. For most people, squats are the most challenging yet rewarding weight exercises to perform and add muscle. I couldn’t prescribe weighted squats to someone who cannot hold their balance when squatting without weights. It’s as important- someone trains safely or consequently injures themselves. The goal is for them to perform squats, but it will take a series of small and progressive training to get someone to weighted squats safely and effectively.
Similarly, career growth occurs after assessing whether you need to do more. Then you determine if smaller steps are best to grow. Discomfort is certain at some point, but the process shouldn’t hurt you more than the change itself.
It costs to renovate and to redecorate a building or a house. It also costs to assess, and if smaller steps are needed, time and cost are a factor. All of these could discourage you from finishing a building, house, or career. You don’t want any of them to be an excuse not to finish. Remember, your job search and career are much like property. Continual changes and upgrades will bring value and appreciation. No changes or upgrades bring down the value and depreciation.
I am the "The Voice of Job Seekers!" I offer compassionate career and job search advice as I hack and re-imagine the job search process. You need to be "the prescription to an employer's job description." You must be solution-oriented and work in positions in companies where you are the remedy. Your job search must be a lifestyle, and your career must be in front of you constantly. You can no longer shed your aspirations at the change seasons. There are strengths you have that need constant use and development.
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You can find my career advice and work in media outlets such as Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, Glassdoor, and many other outlets.