It’s January 2019. It is an uncertain time.
Retailers in the UK have been doing a lot of expectation management since the British Retail Consortium said it was the worst Christmas for sales since 2008. Some of the oldest names in that sector are facing a fight for survival.
Ford and Jaguar Land Rover have announced significant job losses as Chinese consumer confidence has hit sales in that country and fears over diesel engine regulation have given car buyers pause for thought elsewhere.
Trade wars are the order of the day in the USA, with the government still in shut-down as the argument over immigration continues.
And of course in Europe the outcome of the Brexit process is still unknown with the UK parliament unable to reach a conclusion, increasing the threat of a damaging unmanaged split.
These are not reasons for gloom, life goes on after all! But given the uncertain future for our economy it is worth ensuring you’re ready for whatever might happen in your sector. Should you find yourself looking for a new job this year, what have you got in your locker?
I often seen people thrust into the job market having neglected their network and (please forgive me) their personal brand. This is not a great position to be in. Building up your profile and professional network is a sedimentary process, not a volcanic one. It takes effort over time, it cannot be conjured up as if from nowhere.
I also see people working on their profile, trying to describe their talents and strengths at a time when they have suffered a blow to their confidence. This is tough! The best time to write about your strengths and achievements is at the time you are making things happen.
Questions to ask yourself –
Do you know what your next move is likely to be?
Are you happy with your CV?
Are you comfortable that your online profile reflects your capabilities?
Do you have an online / LinkedIn biography that tells your story well?
Without using horrendous cliches?
Can people find out what it is in your work that you’re passionate about easily?
Do you know who you would ask to be a reference should you need one?
Is your network well-maintained, or is it dying through neglect?
It’s really hard to make this a priority and it often falls by the wayside. But this January, of all Januaries, it might be something you thank yourself for later.
Credit: Chris Weston