Self-Development Can Lower Economic Anxiety


September 13, 2011

*Today’s post is sponsored by PeopleClues.  PeopleClues provides cutting edge behavioral assessments for business use.  The PeopleClues line of assessments incorporates modern, validated behavioral assessments in an easy-to-use online platform specifically designed for the commercial market. Highly affordable and requiring little or no training or expert interpretation, PeopleClues Assessments are used by thousands of companies around the globe to hire, train, and promote the right people for the right jobs. The ease of use, custom benchmarking, applicant ranking, and data mining capabilities make it the right choice for both large and small companies.


Each day seems to bring more disappointing news about jobs.  Just yesterday, Missouri announced that the jobless rate is inching back up slowly and is now 8.8%.  While it’s good that it has remained below 9% for five months, the fact that the creep is in the wrong direction is troubling.  Yesterday also brought the news that national employer Bank of America plans to cut over 30,000 jobs in the next couple years.  With news like this continuing to pour in each day, people remain tense about the jobs they have or about jobs they have lost.

One of the best ways to approach anxiety about the economy and the lack of security in jobs is to take action personally and embrace self-development.  This will give you new skills that you can use in the job hunt or in keeping an existing job secure.  It can help strengthen existing but weaker skills in order to increase your value to an organization.  The reason it works is that it can provide a sense of control when thinking about a situation that is very much out of our control.  This approach is also not just for employees who are more junior in their career.  In fact, it’s even more important for those established individuals who may not have thought about self-development in many years.

Moving Toward Self Development

  • Identify your skill gaps–  This can be challenging to do on your own, so reach out to several colleagues or trusted advisors who know you and will give you honest feedback on strengths and weaknesses you have.  If you’re an employer, you can reach out to providers, like PeopleClues, to provide the assessment tools you need to identify the skills your staff have and the ones that they can improve upon.
  • Research and determine what new skills are needed in the workplace–  As times change and technology and other factors impact skills needed to be successful in the workplace, you need to determine how this can affect your career trajectory.  This may mean you need to take responsibility for training yourself or you may need to find a class or expert to train you.  In the end, it will be time and money well spent if you’ve done your homework and selected a skill set that is truly trending for the future.
  • Get trained–  Find ways to get experience with the skill or skills you need.  Offer to use the new skill for free so that you can build credibility.
  • Find and mirror mentors–  Identify people who area already demonstrating their mastery of the skill you desire to have.  Most people are willing to teach others what they know when approached in the right way.

Giving career advice as my career, I’ve had occasion to have the conversation about taking charge of your own career and skill development many times.  The real key for me comes down to the person being open to learn from others.  People tend to enjoy showing you what they know and what they have expertise in.  They often take that a step further and share how they learned the particular skill, how they stay current and even resources of how to acquire the skill.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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