Monday 6 July, 2020

JMMB shares tips on thriving in a changing job market

During a recent JMMB Goal Getter Live episode, people development experts, Lisa Soares Lewis (left), CEO of Great People Solutions and Diana Morgan-Burgess (right), president of MuchMore Development, outlined two key characteristics to staying marketable.

During a recent JMMB Goal Getter Live episode, people development experts, Lisa Soares Lewis (left), CEO of Great People Solutions and Diana Morgan-Burgess (right), president of MuchMore Development, outlined two key characteristics to staying marketable.

The last few months have seen several changes taking place in the local and global job market, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locally, thousands of employees have been misplaced, online selling and delivery services have increased in popularity, and remote working has become the ‘new normal’; even as the economy reopened on June 1, with the expiration of the government-mandated work-from-home orders.

Individuals are left grappling with how to thrive in the current job market and beyond, as a result of the many rapid changes taking place.

During a recent JMMB Goal Getter Live episode, people development experts, Lisa Soares Lewis, CEO of Great People Solutions and Diana Morgan-Burgess, president of MuchMore Development, outlined two key characteristics to staying marketable - adding value to your organisation and building your soft skills or emotional intelligence.

The experts were joined by resident moderator and chief marketing officer, JMMB Group, Kerry-Ann Stimpson, in exploring the topic, “Staying Marketable in the Evolving Job Market”, with an online audience during a recent JMMB Group Goal Getter Live (webinar) series episode, on the company’s social media channels.

Morgan-Burgess underscored the need for a positive mindset in the wake of the pandemic, as this will enable employees to be able to see possibilities and solutions to the challenges of living and working with COVID-19.

“We have to stay fluid in our thinking, we have to be thinking how we can do it better, more efficiently... (work in a way) so that we can scale and expand it (easily). When you are constantly bringing value to the table you make yourself ‘unredundantable’,” a term coined by Morgan-Burgess

Soares Lewis added that “this is the time to get new skills and discover your passion,” especially for individuals who have been laid off or have reduced working hours.

Morgan-Burgess also highlighted the value of living in your passion, nudging individuals to let their passion drive them to success and realize that even in the face of a redundancy, all is not lost, as now presents a time for persons to discover or revive their passion, and use it to make a living.

In sharing pointers on how to make yourself “unredundantable,” Morgan-Burgess outlined, “You have to be up-skilling all the time and you want to build on what you already know,” even if you already possess a wealth of experience and knowledge, so that when career advancement opportunities arise, your skills are being tapped. 

Additionally, she said, “grow your skills so that you can be marketable anywhere,” thereby broadening your options across borders. Various online learning opportunities for up-skilling are available, some of which are free, at Udacity, Udemy, EDX, Coursera, YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, among others.

Morgan - Burgess also reassured individuals that it was never too late to invest in themselves, or to make a shift in their career journey; citing the examples of individuals like, the late Joan Duncan, who is known as a pioneer of the Jamaican money market, having started JMMB at 52 years old and Colonel Harland Sanders, who started the KFC franchise in his sixties.

In addition, Soares Lewis encouraged persons to build their network and share their expertise, online and offline, as another way to remaining marketable.

Morgan-Burgess also noted that persons can pursue standout assessments online, in order to better understand their uniqueness and the value they can create for themselves and organizations. Borrowing from the title of Joe Calloway‘s book, she implored individuals to excel and be extraordinary by simply, “work like you’re showing off.” 

Complement technical competence with soft skills

Both experts agree that one’s ability to add value with your knowledge and technical competence, is critical to thriving and being marketable; however, soft skills need to complement one’s technical competence, now more than ever, the experts advised.

“The academics get you in the game, but to remain in the game and for persons to consider you for promotions, it is the soft skills (that make a difference),” said Morgan - Burgess.  Further noting, “It is how you make people feel and the impact that you have on your team and organisation, not just doing your individual task.”

The MuchMore Development head honcho noted that by being clear on your vision for yourself and career path, this will help you to identify any gaps in your soft skills.

Participants were also encouraged to do greater introspection; be more self-aware; in addition to asking others for insight, such as their managers, mentors and coaches; or do assessment tests to help them identify and close the gaps in their soft skills, where necessary. Pointing to some key soft skills employees should possess, Soares Lewis outlined: adaptability, creativity, curiosity and positive energy. 

During the webinar, the people development experts – Soares Lewis and Morgan-Burgess – also shared about the trends expected in the future of work, such as increased growth in the gig economy, digital transformation and its impact on selling, processes, payment and consumer behaviour; as well as potential growth sectors, namely: online education, health care, artificial intelligence, information technology, creative services, consultancy and other bespoke services, delivery services and supply chain.

The JMMB Goal Getter Live series of webinars, held on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m., via the company’s social media platforms (YouTube, Twitter and Facebook), explores a range of topical issues, especially those affecting individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, including homeschooling, investing, wealth building, relationships, money-making opportunities, personal branding, debt management, among other areas.

The series is aimed at giving hope, lending expertise and sharing solutions that will assist clients and the wider public, to navigate the crisis; and serves as an avenue to address a cross-section of topical issues - thus underscoring JMMB Group’s commitment to being in its clients’ world.

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