For career success in today’s tough economy learn the G.L.O.W. method

Good is just not good enough for many employers today. As companies look to do more with less, hiring managers are drawn to those job candidates who stand out from the crowd and clearly illustrate the value they bring to an organization.

If current employment trends didn’t make landing your dream job tough enough, a gap between the skills hiring managers value in a candidate and how job seekers describe their own skills presents additional challenges.

According to the annual Job Preparedness Indicator from, more than half (56 percent) of job seekers are confident they know what qualifications are required for employment. Yet, only 14 percent of hiring managers reported that “most” or “nearly all” job candidates, over the past three years, have had the skills their company looks for in a potential employee.

J.T. O’Donnell, career strategist and author of “CAREEREALISM: The Smart Approach to a Satisfying Career,” suggests that job candidates need to learn how to G.L.O.W. in order to close the employer-candidate disconnect and shine brightly among an ever more competitive job market. Here’s how to G.L.O.W.:

G – Gain perspective: Take a step back and assess your situation. “No two people are alike,” says O’Donnell. “You have to figure out what’s important to you in your life and career. So, evaluating your values, preferences and interests will provide you with a customized plan and increase your ability to achieve success.”

L – Luminate your goal: To “light up” your career goal, break down your preferred position into a list of “must haves,” “nice to haves,” and “don’t wants.” Let these criteria act as a compass to guide you toward your career destination. A vivid mental image of yourself as a success will keep you motivated and moving forward when things get tough.

O – Own your actions: Be ready and willing to put forth the effort required to make change happen. “Some requirements will seem more daunting than others, like having to go back to school for the right education and career-oriented skills set,” says O’Donnell. “However, there are excellent options like DeVry University, which provides flexible onsite and online scheduling so you can maintain current responsibilities while pursuing your dream career.”

W – Work it daily: Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind so that you’ll take steps every day, no matter how small, to get closer to them. Display your goal where you can view it throughout the day. You should also ask yourself at least five or six times a day, “Is what I’m doing right now helping me achieve my goals?” A truthful answer to this question can be very enlightening.

If you are just starting your career out of college or are a mid-career professional seeking change – whether climbing higher in your current field or switching to a completely different industry – applying the G.L.O.W. method will brighten your future.

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