I had a bad day today. We are in troubled economic times, there is high unemployment and I found myself at MyWorkSearch on the wrong side of a bidding war when trying to hire someone. There is a particular capability I think MyWorkSearch will benefit from and, in a sector I know rather well, very few people who have the required skills and approach. So I approached someone I rate and offered this person a very attractive financial deal combined with huge flexibility on how they would undertake their role. Unsurprisingly, their current employer was not best pleased at the prospect of losing this person and they made a successful counter-offer. Putting the personal disappointment and inconvenience to one side for the moment, this experience has brought home to me just how very useful it is to have a much sought after capability. Even in a bad market employers will do whatever they can to secure or retain an unique set of skills. And this was an employer that has been making redundancies and freezing pay.
If there is one good thing that comes out of this recession and the horrendous impact of unemployment on so many families, I hope that many more people will think about their career and the value they bring to an employer. In a world that is increasingly harsh and pragmatic the person who has something an employer absolutely needs will find life a lot more secure. I think far too many of us for far too long have done what we enjoyed or stumbled into and have not focused on directing and managing our careers. We may be good at planning and strategy when undertaking our jobs, but do we apply these skills to our own working lives?
I started this blog by complaining about my bad day. If all goes to plan I will soon have a good day when someone else I know who is also brilliant will, I hope, accept my employment offer. And if this person reads my blog at least their day will improve when they either accept a great offer from us or discover just how much they really are worth to their current employer!