Finding your next target if your job never comes back

Posted6/17/2020 1:00 AM

I have been a career consultant for over 45 years and worked with over 4,500 individuals at all work levels. I am concerned about the millions of people who just lost their job, filed for unemployment and are waiting to receive a call to go back to work. My guess is that most do not know how to target their next position and conduct a job acquisition campaign if their job does not return.

I have taught numerous job search sessions at the Arlington Heights library and when I asked those attending what their biggest impediment was to finding employment, they said we do not know our next job target. This was especially true when their old job had disappeared.


Where do people learn to plan and manage their career journey? Do high schools and colleges teach a career planning and management class today? The Atlanta Constitution did a study a few years ago to discover how many students go to their career center for help. They discovered 25% used their college career center to write their resume and attend a career fair. If you spend over $100,000 to attend college today, why would you not want to plan to take the right courses/program and be able to place yourself where you obtain a god return on your investment?

Are managers in companies trained as one-on-one career mentors and performance facilitators today so they can help employees be the best at what they do and assist them in targeting and preparing for the next position?

Gallup conducted research on leadership and said that 82% of the managers companies hire are bad choices. Is it that they are bad choices or is it that these managers are not properly trained or have a system in place to be an effective unit leader? There are more and more positions that require technical training. This means managers need to know how to prepare their reports to be experts in their present and future positions.

Why do we need to know how to plan and manage our career journey? Seventy five percent of Americans make less than $50,000 a year. Is it because they just take the next job that comes along and do they not know how to plan their future? Pensions are disappearing. Can people retire comfortably without a pension? Individuals need a career planning and management model to execute. They need

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to know themselves and the world of work (difference between work sectors, industries, functional areas and management/nonmanagement and professional positions) so they can position, prepare and place themselves in the right career

field and jobs so they continually improve their place in life.

• Michael V. Mulligan Ph.D., is CEO of Mulligan & Associates, an organization and employee career development consultant. Contact him at

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