This post is about understanding the strategy behind the personal strategy, and not just any personal strategy but Personal Strategy for Boutique Employability.
First of all, the term Personal Strategy is overused, while not really defined. While it obviously includes the “strategy” in its definition, it almost always used by psychologies for empowering their message that a person should define and own their own path in life.
When you are at the “what’s next?” stage in life, and you have options in your strategy for career design. You might choose a conventional approach for a personal strategy for fitting a job or target big career goals, or you can try a “BE” personal strategy for crafting your space for a job market.
You might have even bumped into my book “Crafting Your Edge For Today’s Job Market” that promises that if you follow the E-D-G-E steps in your personal strategy formulation, you will invest in your personal capital, social capital, and professional capital, which then could be utilized in your BE – boutique employability. I wouldn’t be surprised if you wonder “What is this boutique employability about? Do I need that BE personal strategy, or I would rather follow a conventional way of sending my resume to the jobs and try to be hired?”
I must say, that these would be perfect questions to ask. So, this post is about the BE personal strategy and how it differs from the conventional. Let’s start with the definition of the “BE” personal strategy, and then go through some details of what this strategy means comparing to others.
Defining the “BE” Personal Strategy for Boutique/Built-in Employability
Boutique employability is for those who do not want to be just another job seeker. The “BE” personal strategy is for those who want to design their own, unique, space at the market, which makes competition irrelevant. Millennials labeled this approach to employability “BE,” “Boutique Employability” due to its uniqueness and multidimensional approach. Veterans called it “BE,” “Built-in Employability” because the steps lead them to “cash in” on acquired skills when entering the civilian job market. What does it mean from a strategic angle of view?
This is about a Focus Differentiation in Personal Strategy
As it’s described on my website, Both BEs — the Boutique Employability and the Built-in Employability — refer to a niche personal strategy for employability, that prioritizes “being special in a narrow area” vs. “being better in a wider area” of conventional employability. In the same way, a niche market differs from a mass-market or a boutique differs from a department store, the focus differentiation strategy for boutique employability differs from a wide market differentiation of conventional employability. Such an angle of view on personal strategies refers to an infamous Michael Porter’s generic strategies and applies it to our own personal strategies. It means that
This is about Blue Ocean for Personal Strategy
I love the concept of Blue Ocean Strategy, developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, professors at INSEAD. This concept claims the motion of creating an unexplored “blue ocean” instead of competing in a crowded “red ocean.” It provides businesses with tools for unlocking new demand and making the competition irrelevant. If Kim and Mauborgne developed this concept for business strategy, we can apply it for a personal strategy as another angle on the “BE” strategy for boutique employability. So,
It starts with the “Inner” Elucidated CORE
This is all about distinctive competencies and how to make them match the market opportunities. How many of us found ourselves frustrated that we hard time to fit the “box” of a given job, we are tired of competing with those who are younger or older, or different gender, or speak better — even if they are so linear and one-dimensional. How many of us knew that the complexity of a profile we have because of our multidimensional interests and experience is a highly valuable capital, but we didn’t have a strategy to make it work?
It would be obvious that any personal strategy must bring together your own “inner” qualities and the market “outer” demand, and find their match. The question is where to start in this process.
Ownership: Them or Me?
Finally, BE is not for everybody. My book “Crafting Your Edge For Today’s Job Market” starts with the measures of professional and psychological readiness that you and I need to have in order to pursue Boutique Employability.
Back to the Map of my Blog
On the map of my blog, this post belongs to the intersection of the “BE” column & the”WHAT IT MEANS” raw. It explains the meaning of the Boutique Employability vs. Built-in Employability vs. General Employability as a part of the BE-EDGE method.
No doubts then why the “BE” personal strategy fits best multidimensional accomplished professionals who want to change the game and live in full as they a lot to contribute and they know how to take ownership for own decision. Veterans are the best example of that. It also fits Millennials who are naturally multidimensional and inward-oriented.