Thursday, December 15, 2005

Career Insurance

Pete Weddle has been keeping tabs on recruiting trends since well before any of us knew that the Internet was something other than a new bar-restaurant in our home town. Among other things that Pete's company publishes, he has a couple of free electronic newsletters, and, as usual, the one that crossed my desk this week, had some interesting commentary - in this case he was writing about the importance for job seekers and their use of search agents.

Pete had a number of key points to make about why if people were not using an search agent that they ought to be. I certainly agree with him, if for no other reason, than it helps people to be both proactive in terms of managing their careers, and it also helps to leverage one's productivity.

Pete prefaced his remarks by wondering how many of the employees at Merck might have been using online job search agents since they now knew, along with the rest of us that somewhere along the line there are 7,000 of them are not going to be there too much longer.

When I was reading all this it reminded me again of one of the prime driving forces that gave birth to ExecuNet which was an awakening by many of us that the world of work had changed, and there was great truth in the phrase: "nobody cares about you more than you." Time and time again, I talk to members who tell me that when they originally joined us they did so because they just been impacted by a downsizing, a merger, or restructuring. Over time, however, they say that they remain a member for one of the same reasons that Pete mentions in his piece on search agents - specifically, they view it as "career insurance." Career insurance is one way we talk about it, another is that if you are not doing things to proactively care for your career, you are just waiting for the world to happen to you - and you can bet that it will.

Over the years, it would certainly seem that people have internalized the concept of career insurance, at least by what we see here. When I look at our current membership as we close out 2005, roughly 70% are currently employed and they have their "ALERTS" set,

And given the state of the world of work in which we live, it also makes me wonder if the reason we had our system built so that members could actually set up to three separate alerts for themselves rather than just one was because if we have learned nothing else, we have learned that there is indeed truth to the old phrase "you can't have too much insurance."

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