2020 New Years’ Resolution: “It’s Time for Your Boutique Employability”

By Julia Ivy

December 26, 2019


At the beginning of December, Ian Thomsen, a journalist, contacted me to schedule an interview about my book “Crafting Your EDGE for Today’s Job Market” — the book that equips Millennials, graduates, and soon-to-be graduates, with an instrument to craft their Boutique Employability while they are still in college doing their capstone projects and internships.  We also discussed that the book would serve accomplished professionals (say, veterans) with a tool for how they can utilize their already accumulated personal, social, and professional capital for self-differentiation in the civilian market. 

While originally the journalist planned to publish the article in December to introduce the book as a Christmas gift that parents could give to their graduating Millennials or that friends could give retiring service members, Ian changed his mind by the end of the interview. He said, “No, let’s hold it until the beginning of January, as the book would be a handy tool for a New Years’ resolution.”

It was unexpected and exciting for me to have a new angle to look at my work. But the more I write about boutique & built-in employability and the “BE” personal strategy and talk about it with Millennials and accomplished professionals at the “what’s next?” stage in life, the more I see his point.

The point is that the New Year is the time when we can decide who is in control of our professional choices and of the content of work we do eight hours a day. If this is “them” — employers, market demands, educational programs, or anybody else — we follow a conventional approach to employability. We take “their” demand as given, and we keep adjusting ourselves to “their” demands through getting more diplomas, more credentials, or more connections. Then, we wait to be selected by “them.”

The point is that the New Year is also a time to decide how we define ourselves as professionals. If we define ourselves with one dimension while answering the question “what do you do?”, we again follow a conventional approach to employability: we define ourselves as an “accountant,” “teacher,” “army officer,” “supply chain manager,” or any other one-dimensional term while keeping our other interests and qualifications aside. We want “them” to be comfortable in understanding who we are, and we pay for their comfort by diminishing our own uniqueness. Besides, we put ourselves into a highly competitive field of other one-dimensional professionals risking losing this competition to those who are younger, or speak better, or have flashier diplomas even if they have fewer real qualifications than we do.

Or, as a New Year’s resolution, we can say, “It’s me who defines myself, and I define myself with all the unique credentials that I have. This definition is multidimensional because I AM MULTIDIMENSIONAL. It would be me who will select an employer that fits my unique profile. My personal strategy is “BE.” Now I need a tool to make it happen, and I will find a way to apply this tool in the new year.”

This tool is the BE-EDGE Method, which leads through the E-D-G-E steps in order to craft your BE, boutique employability, which is built-in in your multidimensional profile.

I want to finish this post with “Happy New Year” and best wishes.  If you are multidimensional, you are unique! Let 2020 be a year of crafting your edge and feeling right about your boutique space in the market!