January 3, 2019

2018 Insights / 2019 Predictions – What I’m Seeing Out There

My three biggest take-aways from last year and our predictions for 2019.

Well, you made it!  

2018 is officially in the rear-view mirror and the new year is here!

I’m super grateful for the relationships built over the past 12 months. Helping professionals (and organizations) tackle the employee engagement crisis through career clarity is my focus each-and-every-day. It’s been amazing … and impactful. This year alone, I’ve helped hundreds of professionals and dozens of teams around the world find professional bliss. And I’m only just beginning…

Since this is the first “Pursuit” newsletter of the new year, I thought I’d spend some time reviewing my biggest insights from 2018 and give my biggest predictions for 2019. This is similar to my “What I’m Seeing Out There” pieces you may have read from the late Spring and Summer last year.  You can expect more of these insights over the next 12 months as well, so check your inbox regularly!

My Biggest Insights from 2018:

  • Managers make-or-break the daily employee experience.  I heard this time-and-time again from professionals looking for something new.  “My manager doesn’t share my values” or “My manager’s approach to feedback is underwhelming.”  Unfortunately, when employees start to notice a change in the manager relationship, it’s often too late to make lasting adjustments.  My take-away for the year:  Work with clients to focus much more on the Manager (or Hiring Manager) role – ask tough questions early in the process around style, philosophy, and values. I coach clients to “go with their gut” around a potential manager a lot.  It’s working, but we have a long way to go here!
  • The interview process is still super-clunky.  From horrible job descriptions, to recruiters who ghost candidates, to teams who don’t know how to interview … my clients have seen it all.  My take-aways for the year:  (1) The process is going to take way longer than you thought – usually 4-to-6 months (2) Money is going to come-up early in the conversation and (3) Prepare for the unexpected interview experience.
  • Networking is (still) King.  I know, I know.  You’ve heard this before.  Networking like a boss is the way to awesome opportunities.  But it’s true! Out of those 500+ clients I worked with this past year, literally TWO secured a role by applying via a company job portal.  TWO!  My take-way for the year:  Networking happens all the time (not just when you’re looking for something new).  Always have your “Professional Story” ready and be prepared to do all the work!  The days of “keep your eyes open for me” are long gone!

My Biggest Predictions for 2019:

  • Specialist > Generalist.  Now more than ever, companies are looking for EXPERTS.  And in many cases, TECHNICAL EXPERTS.  The days of a general Program Manager or general Product Manager are over.  Organizations are looking for ways you can roll-up-your-sleeves and help, whether it be engineering duties, project management or selling widgets.  In other words, you need to be able to talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk.  My recommendation: Get to know your field, product, and/or device in deeper ways than before. Take a class. Get certified. Use the thing! Need a good read on the subject? Check out “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport.
  • Companies will (finally) focus on Management/Leadership Development.The latest Gallup poll shows that 70% of employees are stilldisengaged and companies are losing billions in revenue because of it. Finally, I’m noticing a change in prioritization. Organizations are starting to focus on hiring the RIGHT managers, giving them tools/training to be successful and holding them accountable.  My recommendation:  If you’re in a management role currently, ask for help! Stuck with your team? Have a big employee survey coming-up? New to the Management role? If you’d like to brainstorm on ways to kick-butt in this crucial role, shoot me a mail.
  • The employee search for engagement will continue. Especially in cities like Seattle where companies are starting (and/or expanding) everyday, employees will continue to look for that green grass!  In fact, January is the biggest month for job searches according to Inc. Magazine (no surprises there).  My recommendation: Looking is great, and be smart about it! Sometimes the grass is greener, and sometimes it’s not – it all depends on your individual situation. Not sure where to start? Don’t forget, we can hop on a call for a quick hour or two and brainstorm your strategy. Easy. Done.

Your homework this week:Think about your biggest insights from last year and how you want to work in 2019.  Write down where you’ve been and where you’d like to go.  Think it’s time for your Engaged Pursuit?  Send me a mail to schedule some time now (January is filling up quickly)!

Coming-up next time:  I highlighted the clunky interview experience seen by many in 2018.  Next week I’ll highlight a Case Study of a real zinger (and include some take-aways to help you)!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

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