3.2    Awareness: do this exercise!

Awareness Exercise

Choose a story from today's paper, or choose one from the internet. Then, on a piece of paper, see if you can come up with ten things that might happen as a result of that event.

This was not a one time exercise!

For the serious job seeker, this task does not end with having analyzed just one news story. Instead, it has to be a way of thinking about what's going on and what different events might mean. You don't want to be the person who goes out looking for a job as a mortgage broker while the mortgage industry is melting down.

You also don't want to be the last one to know which industries are going to grow in the coming years. You don't want to miss or overlook an opportunity, or fail to consider an option because you thought it wouldn't be worth it. You don't want to train for a job that won't be there and you don't want to pass up a training opportunity because you think there won't be any jobs in that field.

Maintaining an awareness of the world around you is also going to improve your chances of landing that job that you want. When you interview, a prospective employer is going to want to know that you know their industry, that you know the trends that might affect it, and that you are alert to the forces that will shape it. An employer will want to know that you are thinking!

Companies of all sizes actually hire people to figure out what's going to happen next. Spotting trends and anticipating the future is important in every type of business, and in the same way, it is important to you as a job seeker.