Posted by: kenwbudd | November 17, 2009

Unemployed? Should you retrain in a new skill to get work?

We will make the bold assumption that your current skills are not bleeding edge but are relevant to this century and current business practices.

It’s a good and valid question in the current circumstances and it makes very good sense from your side, so let’s consider it from the employers point of view.

You will find that companies are in ‘Me take, me no-give’ mode and definitely not in a ‘Happy to Wait n see /training’ mode.

This means they are currently looking for skilled people with good experience, that can hit the ground running. Someone that can add something to the company right freakin’ now. This means companies will only employ people to do what they already know and they will be expected to do it well, right out of the ‘HR box”.

Companies are very unsure about taking on people who have just learned a new skill and are looking for experience. The company will see this as you simply gaining experience at the company’s expense and shy away from it. The one’s that are interested will pay you no-money for this and that’s not a serious option for you, unless you have a secondary income.

So, in summary, learning a new skill in this position, will delay your return to work (with steady loss of earnings and self esteem), reduce your earning capacity in the next job (if you can find a company willing to take you) and you will quickly start to lose the benefit and impact that your current ‘up to the minute’ skills have on potential employers.

I mean by this, that the delay caused through lack of practical ‘on the job’ use will create a significant doubt in the minds of potential employers, which is not good. If there is a choice between 2 people, the one with the ‘most current’ skills and shortest ‘gap’ will win, all else being equal.

So, get your job hunting trousers on, tighten your brown belt of expandable self esteem, stride confidently out and tell everyone you meet that you do what you do do, well!


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