Build Your Employability Tool Kit

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Build Your Employability Tool Kit

Category : Careers

Employability refers to your capability for gaining and maintaining employment. Each of us carries with us our very own “employability tool kit.” It contains all of the skills, knowledge, and competencies we’ve developed over time. No one can take away your kit; it’s yours forever. What does your employability tool kit look like? Do you know what’s in your kit? Does it contain new skills, knowledge and competencies? What are you doing to increase the content and value of your employability tool kit?

A Very Important Point: The key to your personal development, success and employability, is to continue putting more “value-added and relevant” competencies into your kit. The more updated and relevant competencies you add to your employability tool kit, the more valuable you become to others and…the more employable you become.

Ten Tips for building your personal employability tool kit

  1. Know where you are in your career.  Are you still in school and have not made a career choice? Have you been in your job a short time and having success or performance issues? Have you been in a job a long time, truly mastered the job and are now ready for new challenges? Are you in a “sunset job” and need to change because it will soon go away? You need to focus on where you are so you can more effectively evaluate what specific competencies you need to quickly learn and add to your employability tool kit. Where are you now?
  2. Take an inventory of your employability skills, knowledge and competencies. What specific strengths do you have? What relevant skills do you currently possess? What skills do you feel you are an expert at doing? What competencies do you possess that set you apart from your competition? What do you feel naturally good at doing? In what role or in what situation are you operating at your best?
  3. Take the initiative to make sure you are clear on what direction you want to take in your career. Spend more time planning your career than you do planning your vacation. What needs, desires, dreams, and short-term/long-term career goals do you have? What are you passionate about doing? What career will get you excited about getting out of bed Monday mornings? What future trends are you most curious about? What career would you choose if money was no object? Write answers to these and other career related questions. This will help you decide what skills and competencies you will need to develop for your tool kit. Only you can effectively plan your career and… if you don’t plan a career, the wrong one will happen to you or you won’t have one at all.
  4. You need to honestly evaluate your choices and options. Does your desired career require a degree, but your scholastic track record or finances preclude you from entering a college program at this time? Do you have a strong interest in a highly technical field because it pays well, but you are not naturally a technical person and your true passion is working with or helping people? What short-term training can you afford? It is important to be realistic as you build your employability tool kit. Honestly evaluate your choices!
  5. Understand future job and career requirements. If you are a student or unemployed, seek out information on what are the new or hot jobs and obtain skills that can be used in those careers. If you are employed, make sure you know where your company is going, what it needs, and what competencies are required to support those needs. Curiosity and career planning go hand-in-hand. What are the requirements of the career you have chosen?
  6. Knowledge of the business is a key requirement for developing your tool kit. If you are a student visit a business you think you may be interested in. Try to get an internship during or between semesters. If employed, learn how other departments, divisions, or business units contribute to the business and bottom line. Search out and volunteer for new projects where you can learn new competencies that add value to your employability tool kit. Talk to people who are already doing what you believe to be your career choice. They are the best source of information about what skills, knowledge and competencies you will need for that career.
  7. Focus on tasks, not positions. Make sure you focus on learning tasks, which will enhance your tool kit and career, not the positions you want to be promoted to. Positions identified as crucial today may be gone tomorrow. Positions can be eliminated, but the skills, knowledge and competencies you have acquired will last a lifetime. What tasks do you need to learn?
  8. Make sure any class you attend is tied to your career plan. Invest your training and education dollars wisely. Make sure the skills taught in the class match a specific employability purpose. Think about how new training and certification will add value to your tool kit and plan for how and when you’ll practice and build your new competencies. Training imparts knowledge and understanding, but action builds competence. What have you done to align class subjects with your career plan?
  9. Network, network, network! Set up networks, because that is how you learn about what is going on in the world around you. Join and get involved in professional organizations and volunteer in nonprofit organizations. The rewards will be great. You will learn what’s hot and what’s not. You will learn about new careers and what new tools you will need to acquire to stay employable. What have you done to network?
  10. Finally, always keep your résumé updated and write it as a “marketing tool.” Your résumé normally does not get you a job, but it is excellent to use as a marketing tool and a good place to update your “employability value.” List the benefits you will bring to their organization. Employers are interested in what you have done, but they are more interested in what you will do for them. Use your résumé to market your performance, results and the “benefits” of hiring you! What have you done to make your résumé a marketing tool?

Caution: Do not rely on others for your employability! Take on the responsibility to manage your own career. Avoid activity-based (busy) work. Being or looking busy does not guarantee your employment. Seek out jobs, projects and positions, which are outcome-based. Concentrate on specific, measurable and relevant jobs, which impact the goals of an organization. They will provide you the best chance of staying employed or getting employment.


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Eight Steps For Building A Great Reputation And Influencing Perceptions

The following Eight fundamental practices provide a key strategy in managing perception and developing a great reputation with your friends, family and business associates. While they are listed in sequential order, as an individual you will find yourself constantly moving back and forth among the elements as you work to build your reputation and influence the perception others have of you.

1. Build Relationships:

The relationships of “all” individuals within any human endeavor, is absolutely essential for success to happen, be they: husband – wife, parent – child, teacher – student, leader – follower, or coach – player. 
Evidence of a “healthy relationship” is that the relationship is challenging, honest, trusting, supportive, and that all issues can be worked through successfully

2. Model The Way:

You cast a long shadow of influence; others will listen to your talk, but watch your walk. You must constantly be building in a positive manner your “perception capital” and your “reputation capital.”

3. Listen To Your Friends:

You were born with two ears and one mouth – use them accordingly. 
You must listen with your whole being. To listen effectively you must ignore your own needs and concentrate your attention on the person speaking.

4. Challenge Your Friends:

Challenge your friends to do things and go to places they have never been before. You can help them open up to a bigger worldview. Challenge your friends to be open to change.

5. Inspire Your Friends

Inspiring your friends most always begins with a vision. A vision is about possibilities; it’s about the future. Successful people I have interviewed or known personally have at one time or another imagined a “significant” future. A vision acts like true north on a compass. It points the way to a specific destination.  Aristotle stated, “A vivid imagination (vision) compels the whole body to obey It.”

6. Enable Your Friends

Help him or her describe in their own words and their own descriptive thoughts, what it will take for them to enable their own future. You need to challenge others to truly think…so they can discover and take responsibility for their own vision of their possible future.

7. Dialogue With Your Friends:

To be meaningful and transformational, the discussions held between you and your friends must go beyond a simple conversation and enter the world of dialogue. The dialogue must involve insightful thinking about the world of work and include the non-business, social, family and personal world of your friends. People do not live in one world or another; their life is affected by the whole.

8. Value The Journey:

I once saw an advertisement that stated, “Having fun is serious business.” Being a person who is perceived to have a good reputation is serious business; however, it can and should be both enjoyable and fun. Some motivational speakers speak to the potential of living one’s dreams. When it comes to enjoying and having fun in your work and play I would speak to living one’s passion.


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Smart Career Choices

Category : Careers


We are in the midst of a recession with a high rate of unemployment. With that said, we are also experiencing a lack of preparation by many entering the workforce and those which have been laid off. To deal effectively with gaining the career knowledge required to navigate the ever-changing workplace, takes thought, making smart career choices, a plan, and focus.

Many are now faced with chasing any job, with others not knowing what their next career move will be. If you find yourself in this situation…stop…take some time to think through your possible options. Take the time to examine your strengths, skills, talents, competencies, and aspirations… and what it will take to “reinvent you” so you can best deal with the realities of the market place.

Not only is the workplace itself changing rapidly, but career opportunities are also evolving. When planning your next career move, look for trends that will possibly require your present skills and abilities. Most likely you will need some addition education or training, but it will be focused in the right area. Look for the “sunrise” jobs (the new hot jobs with a growing demand).

The following information may spark some ideas which will help you focus on making smart career choices.

In general, any job that requires personal contact with customers or provides a service that cannot be transferred off shore is a smart career choice. These can be categorized as “high touch relationship jobs.” Examples of these job areas would be: residential care, child care, pharmacist, psychologists, personal/business coaches, and physical therapists, public relations specialists, hospitality specialist, police officer, firefighters, security, sales people, nursing and teaching.

The economy will come back so traditional skilled trades such as carpentry, electrician, plumbing, construction contractors, food processing, quick-turn and custom manufacturing, auto mechanics, maintenance and repair look very good in terms of not moving offshore. Also, cosmetologist, hair stylist, dental hygienists, administrative assistants and computer support specialist are good choices.

Online retail sales will continue to drive home delivery; this will increase the need for drivers, pilots, airplane mechanics, distribution specialists, etc. Retail store positions will decline gradually as Internet shopping continues to grow, but there will always be retail stores and retail positions.

Positions requiring creativity and originality will still be highly valued. The need to write books, screenplays, TV shows, music, and produce the sports our culture enjoys, will continue to drive the entertainment sector.

The retirement population alone is driving the need for replacement workers and is already creating high demand in products and services tailored to this demographic. Home building in retirement areas will be on the increase, home health care services, nursing homes, yard care and the leisure/recreation industry for the 55+ age group will generate a large increase in employment. The increase in the “baby boom” population will also drive a continuing need for surgeons, nurses, and financial specialists.

Many jobs in local, state and federal government will surly continue. Jobs related to the energy field such as engineers, line technicians, and fuel cell sales and distribution specialists will grow.

Our wired society will continue to drive the need for applications engineers, network and technical support technicians for many years.

Last and certainly not least, a vocation in religious institutions and employment in nonprofit organizations will definitely continue. There will be a need for ordained ministers, priest’s, rabbis, and all the jobs associated with religious and nonprofit intuitions such as, executive directors, counselors, program directors, grant writers, fund raisers, lobbyists and administrative support individuals.

As new discoveries are made in medicine, science and technology, new and unnamed jobs will be created. Each major discovery in these fields has spawned new industries, which have created tens of thousands of jobs.

The key to survival and winning in the career game will be your ability to make smart career choices, spot and learn new jobs, and be the best at what you do. Even in tough times, if you have a reputation for being a quick learner and being the best in your field, you will do better than most.

A Very Important Point: In most if not all careers, no matter how secure you feel, you will experience ups and downs due to the economy, unexpected changes in technology and world events. There are no guarantees, but with determination, focus, and learning new skills associated with in-demand career fields, you can make smart career choices and stay employed.

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Workforce Development

Workforce Talent and Development

When given the right attention and investment, People, and what they bring to an organization or a community, are an asset that appreciates over time. If we don’t invest in people we put in peril the global leadership America currently enjoys. If you don’t invest in your own development your earning power will not reach its full potential.

Now, faster than most imagined, a confluence of social, economic, but most of all technological forces are bringing a new twist to the world of work. We are entering the age of a Knowledge-based workplace where each person is becoming a “business of one.”

With over twenty-five years of research and direct workforce involvement, Ingbretsen Consulting LLC is prepared to show you how to effectively react to thechanging workplace environment. We can help you, your organization, or your communities, understand, assess and recommend action steps that can be taken to deal with the growing problem of workforce talent development.

As a coach, I work with “you the individual,” so you can have the impact you need to be more successful and satisfied in your career. As a writer, I provide real-world proven information you can apply immediately.

Ingbretsen consulting accomplishes in-depth analysis, which results indeliverables that are action driven to improve the individual, the workplace and the workforce.

If you need expertise in career issues, workforce skills panels, workforce gap analysis, workforce development council initiatives or training of front-line supervisors/managers, contact Ingbretsen Consulting LLC.

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Career Guidance

Look to Ingbretsen Consulting LLC to find the answers to successfully navigate through the turbulent times of change and career uncertainty…

Our economy is a mess, and we are in uncharted territory. Most everyone is feeling the pinch, especially if they now find themselves unemployed or wonder if they are the next one to lose their job.

Unfortunately, most people put more planning into their next vacation than they do their career or more realistically their “careers.” I say careers, because you will most likely have many in our constantly changing economy. When the pink slip arrives most people have no idea of what their next move will be. If you are wondering what to do next, now is the time to seriously take the necessary steps to “continuously plan your career.”

This is a very important point. Today is important! Today really matters with regard to your next career. You must begin “today!” to develop and implement an action plan, which will create your future. No one will do this for you. Creating your future is strictly up to you!

The first step is to take some reflective time and assume more personal responsibility to think through your next action so you can take control of your future. Begin to think and act like an independent contractor representing a company called, “You LLC.” LLC stands for… “Limit your Liabilities Constantly.” A liability is working in a job, which has a limited future or anything (training, behaviors, location) that is holding you back from being more successful in the future workplace. The “You LLC” concept speaks to a change in personal mindset in which you think of yourself as a company.

You LLC are a business that sells you… your ideas… and your value to others. You LLC should be a company with a mission and vision statement, goals, values and a strategic plan to meet your desires and the expectations of the market place. Your personal company needs to be agile and quick to respond to change, a company, which gets the best results possible in everything it does. You LLC should be a company, which is flexible, responsible and has a passion to protect and ensure its future survival.

When working for “You LLC” the following six questions can help you focus and take responsibility for your own personal career change process.

  1. What liabilities do I presently have (lack of hard or soft skills, lack of training or education, lack of a solid work ethic or a good attitude, etc.) that I must correct quickly?
  2. What four or five important trends (outsourcing, job going overseas, a slowing demand for my services, etc.) are affecting my job or career plans today?
  3. What are the two most important actions I need to take immediately to ensure I stay ahead of these trends and prepare for a new career?
  4. What are my strengths, talents, competencies and skills, and what am I truly passionate about doing for many years to come?
  5. What sunrise jobs or new career field truly interests me, rather than sticking with a soon to be a sunset and obsolete job?
  6. Based on the above, what will I most likely be doing in six months, one year, three years, and five years from now if I do, or do not, invest in my career options?

When you begin to formalize answers and develop an action plan to address the above questions, you will begin to uniquely equip yourself to meet the changes the future will certainly bring. You will be better prepared to deal with a wider variety of challenges and reduce your level of fear and anxiety. Most importantly the answers will help you design a “survival road map” to effectively guide you through the constant journey of change from the present to the future – from unemployment to employment or from one career to the next.

Are you still looking for career answers?

Call 509.999.7008 or send an e-mail to

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