In today's highly competitive job market, the worst word you can use is "can." I realize that's a stunning turn of events for a people who have historically seen themselves as the "can do" nation. Nevertheless, what employers now want from candidates is a verb they believe has far greater potential. The word they want to hear is "will."
Until recently, employers competed in a global marketplace on the basis of productivity. The more efficient a company's workers, the more profitable it would be. That strategy unfolded in three distinct phases.
First, employers outsourced jobs to cheaper labor overseas. Then, they turned to technology to replace humans on-the-job. And finally, for the past decade or so, they've relied on the pernicious notion of "doing more with less" to squeeze ever more profits out of the workforce left behind.
This quest for productivity is now coming to an end. There are no more costs to be squeezed out of the organization, technology has reached its upper limits of capability at least for the moment, and employees are just too exhausted to give any more.
And, at the very same time, there is a new and formidable dynamic emerging in the global marketplace. It is the globalization of genius. We are now competing with many more smart people around the world. And, that reality is changing what employers want and need from you.
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