It's All About the Talent

[Our guest blogger is Valarie Willis. Find out more about Val here.]

We have known for years that the focus should be on talent and not jobs. I was intrigued as I read this article today in the New York Times telling people to think of their careers like a business.

Even people inside organizations today should view their work and career as if they owned them. How differently would we act if we approached our work with an entrepreneurial spirit? Would you go after new skills, would you promote yourself more, would you find new projects to associate yourself with?

Talent is still key, work doesn't get done without the right talent in place. Today, however, the way organizations obtain the talent they need is changing. Talent will be brought in for projects, short and long term, and then released, and the cycle will start all over again. People who keep their skills up to date, watch the market for future skill needs, and adapt will survive. Some companies have cut personnel too deep and will be looking for the right talent to bring onboard.

So, now would be a great time to think about how you differentiate yourself in the market when your only opportunity to "interview" may be via one of the social networking media. I recently hired someone from the Elance site to do some IT work for me. I never met them in person—our entire relationship was Web based. From this site, you can put out a request for proposal on what you need done, people bid on the job, and you have your pick of great talent. You can even see the feedback and ratings from others that they have worked for, so it is in the best interest of talent to do excellent work. What if your company put up a public rating scale, how would you fare? How would you rate others on your project team?

It is certainly something to think about as we strive to manage our careers and do our absolute best work.