Last updated: April 5

Discover an invisible job that’s perfect for you. 

Tapping into the Hidden Job Market – Part 6

corporate ladder | hidden job market

Trying to envision our next step on the corporate ladder is daunting for most – especially when change is not necessarily what we wanted.

When, in truth, change was foisted upon us. Being made redundant or laid off, even, being dismissed, makes climbing the corporate ladder feel more like walking the plank. Stepping off between the devil and the deep blue sea.

In my monthly series on The Hidden Job Market, I have been outlining one step after another that offers alternatives to a job search that don’t include standing in line at the employment agency (if there *were* such a thing anymore.)

BUT, before anything else comes clear, you must believe me when I tell you that 95% of job seekers are competing for 5% of available jobs. This means that there are in the vicinity of 250 applicants for every 1 open corporate position!

Another leap of faith I ask you take with me this month is that the job I’m going to describe to you is all but invisible and yet the perfect elements are right here, taking shape:

  • you,
  • your unique skills and talents,
  • reliable internet accessibility,
  • a decent phone connection and,
  •  some place to hang your hat – where you set up shop is up to you.

No doubt you’ve caught on by now that what I’m describing can be mundanely known as self-employment. Yet with a strategic approach to capitalize on your past achievements, you can find yourself quite happy doing consultancy work. For some, the “better yet” scenario is that your expertise could lend itself quite nicely to an advisory capacity at a Board of Directors level.

In this world, a very real and lucrative world, you can take what may appear as an initial setback as an opportunity to retire into your own company. Define your own way of doing things. Finally.

I can hear your doubt welling as you continue reading. Could this actually be a possibility? Indeed, it can.

The first step to make this a successful shift is for you to redefine yourself. To do that you don’t have to change in any way except in your concept of who you are and what skills you have to offer.

This is a shift. Not a change, per se.

Remember, you’ve been tucked away safely in a glass tower now for some years, working for one organization and putting all of your knowledge back into that firm. Proper thing.

But, as they say, That was then. This is now.

With hard-to-find expertise, there are many companies willing to invest in specialized services they cannot get in their own workforce or in the market in general. When you consider that that marketplace can be close to home or in a different country – or even several countries – warm countries – it begins to put a whole different light on your situation.

When you stand back and take a third party approach to analysing your own skill set as a product to be prepared for the marketplace, you’ll begin to see yourself in that different light.

You may need some help to lose your preconceived notions – to shake that ‘little ol me’ view of yourself and really see your own success. Being just an IT guy (or gal) for the last 20 years may seem a little ‘aw shucks’ when you tell it, but it can be worth a fortune to companies struggling with security. Being a policy writer and analysis can be a breath of much-needed fresh air to groups that are laying the groundwork here in Canada or in another country. Human resources, legal, communications, operations, QC – you get the picture. Really – the world can be your oyster. 

It’s true that being laid off, or being fired after years of faithful service can feel more like walking the plank than taking another step on the corporate ladder. But imagine this. Being strategic, showcasing your own accomplishments, leveraging your reputation and creating your new, career story will make stepping off the plank more like diving into a warm Caribbean sea – or any exotic location of your choosing.

I’m Maureen Farmer, president of Westgate Executive Branding & Career Consulting and I am a 9-times credentialed career coach. I work with executives around the world to get my clients market ready in 30 days and help them negotiate an average of 15.5% increase in total compensation. For a private 15-minute chat to discuss your personal business plan, click here.

About executive resume writing author 

Westgate - Maureen Farmer, helping C-level executives step up or step out.

Maureen Farmer is the Founder & CEO of Westgate Executive Branding & Career Consulting Inc., an international personal branding and career consulting firm delivering premier executive branding and career consulting services for high-profile leaders. Author of The CEO Script Vault: Job Search Scripts for Busy Executives, Maureen believes that when we’re doing work aligned with our values, everyone wins. Using the law of attraction to identify quality employers utilizing the hidden job market is a cornerstone of her career management strategy.

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