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Confidence Keys

Finding your inner star. Over the course of the last year, I’ve been offering career advice for those who have considered career transition. We’ve dealt with everything from writing resumes to the value of networking. Even if you’re not currently looking for work, you never know when the time will come for you start. The most important characteristic affecting a current or future job seeker, whether it is someone looking for a promotion within the company they currently work for, to someone changing to a new job at a new company, or someone changing to another occupation or industry, is confidence.

Without confidence in one’s ability to find new work, or to be successful in their current work situations, it is difficult to persevere, when looking for work turns from days to weeks to months. People pursue further education because of their confidence that their new training will help make them more marketable. They pursue a particular career field because they are confident they have what it takes to do well in that particular job. They pursue a strategic job search campaign because they believe by writing a great resume, preparing for interviews, provides added confidence that they can reach their goal of finding the job of their choice.

Right Management Consultants, Inc. conducts a survey done twice a year to measure the career confidence of full-time employees around the world. The results of this study are called the Career Confidence Index. The latest survey findings were reported in May 2006. The career confidence index is measured by asking these questions:

* What is the possibility of you, yourself, being laid off from your job during the next year?

* How easy or difficult do you think it would be for the average person who was laid off from his or her job to find a similar job at the same pay?

The Global Career Confidence Index was at 57, with 100 being the highest index score. This is 2.4 points higher than it was in November 2005. Countries included in this survey include: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and the United States.

Overall, the career confidence of employees all over the world has slightly increased; although, for the past 3 years, workers in Germany have consistently had the lowest career confidence index at 46.1 this year. Norwegian employees have the highest career confidence level at 75.2.

Workers in the United States measured 50 on the career confidence index. In response to the first question asked in the survey, 18.9 percent of U.S. employees believed it was “Very/Somewhat Possible” for them to be laid off from their jobs during the next year. This was down from 23.8 percent of surveyed, U.S. participants’ responses in November 2005. Almost 80 percent of Americans believe they will not be laid off in the next year.

Interestingly, almost the same number, 79.5 percent of U.S. workers felt it would be difficult to find a similar job at the same pay. So what is causing Americans to feel more confident about keeping their jobs and being able to find work in their local job markets, but less optimistic about finding similar work, if laid off, at the same or similar pay?

With mortgages, college tuition, bills, etc. to pay, people feel confident they can find work, but finding work that maintains or increases our current lifestyle is a concern for all. To bring this closer to home, are you feeling as confident about keeping your job or finding a new job, if necessary? Do you believe you could find work at the same or similar salary? Tell me why you do or do not believe your job is more secure today or why you do or do not believe you could match or get close to your current salary.

Felicia H. Vaughn, M.Ed. ([email protected]), is a certified career management coach. She works as a career consultant for REA Career Services Inc. and is COO of VaughnElite Corp.

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