Friday, August 31, 2012

An Overview of the Prospect and Process for . . . Finding the Job You Really Want

Have you decided to look for a new job or find a new role for yourself?  If you have, I am here to tell you
that you can do it!

However, if you are like many of my clients, and it’s been a while since you sought a new role or job, I am also here to tell you that going about finding a job has changed.  As you begin to think about and plan your search, here are some things to think about to prepare to make the most out of your search for a new job or role.  Here are some thoughts on getting started  –  some thoughts, if you will, on how to “think about” your search for the most productive outcome!

A job search is like a journey
I open some of my job search workshops by saying that a job search can be like taking an interesting trip or journey!  As you network and talk with people, interview, and interact with companies, you’ll meet some new and interesting people, see some new places, attend some interesting events, make a few friends, and develop some valuable contacts and colleagues that you keep for life.  You learn a lot about yourself and get a good gauge of your value in dollars and cents in the marketplace.

There are, however, a couple of key differences between this job search journey and other trips you’ve taken, and that may take some preparation for you to get comfortable with this journey to find your new job or role.
    (1) The destination is unknown.  As you begin your search, you can’t predict where you’ll end up.
    (2)  You can’t predict how long it will take.  It could take a day, a month, a year.  However, while you can’t predict how long it will take to get there, you can influence the time factor by how hard, smart, and strategically you work at your search,
Both factors can be a little disconcerting.  The antidote?  –  knowledge and a positive attitude!

Develop a positive mindset
It will be easier on you to conduct a search for a new job or role if you can be realistic about the process and challenges of finding employment in today’s tough employment marketplace.  Being realistic allows you to anticipate challenges on the road ahead and in so doing, not be thrown by them.  It all really comes down to enjoying and celebrating the small successes along the way, and developing a mindset to take challenges in stride.  Developing a realistic and positive mindset will help you get further faster.

Managing a job search is like managing a project
How do you prepare to take a trip where you don’t know the eventual destination or time it will take to
arrive?  Pretty much the same way you prepare to take any trip.  In fact, it is akin to managing a project with the two main differences that you don’t know (1) how long it will take and (2) where you’ll end up.  However, preparations still need to be made for planning your project, gaining information and knowledge, acquiring the project tools you’ll need, organizing your project, and performing the work of the project.  So take out your project management skills and employ them in planning and performing your search.

Employ strategic thinking
Today’s job seekers don’t achieve success just by happenstance.  While the exact destination is not known, you either know the type of position or role that you would like to achieve, or you can find out through assessment of your capabilities.  Identifying the type of role or roles you would like to achieve is your first step.  The role(s) is your destination goal.  Figuring out the strategy to achieve your goal will keep you on track.  Very importantly, it will help you figure out what is a good use of your time, energy, and resources and what is not!

While some job seekers think that sending out resumes “helter-skelter” to anyone and everyone  –  referred to as “shotgunning”  –  is a route to their next role, in fact, experience shows just the opposite.  As the name implies, sending out a round of shot and hoping it will hit the target is less effective, than taking careful aim at a target and strategically taking action.

You’re in sales
“Ever been in sales?’’ No?   –   Well you are now!  If you are looking for a new job, new role, expansion or contraction of your current role, or venturing off into a contracting or consulting career, you are in sales.  And you are selling the most important product or service you will ever sell  –  YOU!

There is a lot to learn about how to sell yourself in the employment marketplace.
    (1) First and foremost, when selling your product or service, it is important to understand that you are selling or offering your skills and capabilities to your customer  –  your potential employer.
    (2) Develop a mindset and understanding of the customer relationship and its management.
    (3) And, most importantly, recognize early on in your search that, in sales,  “it’s all about them”  –  their business, their needs, their wants.  It is not about you.

What is “about you” is understanding your role.  Your role, as a good salesperson, is to uncover and learn about your customer’s needs and demonstrate that you are the best candidate to fulfill them.

Finding a job is a full-time job
It’s almost become cliche to say that finding a job is a full-time job.  But, in fact, the truth is  –   it is.
Finding a job takes a lot of work.  It:
    (1) Takes learning about the job of finding a job in today’s changed employment marketplace.
    (2) Requires gaining skill in the techniques of presenting yourself to the employment marketplace, and marketing yourself strategically.
    (3) Takes learning how to talk about yourself as the solution to a prospective employer’s needs, and them negotiating for the best deal!

It is a tough and demanding job  –  one that may not be done Friday at quitting time.  Weekend get-togethers, evening meetings, and early morning coffees become the sum and substance of a savvy job seeker’s work week.  Finding a job is indeed a full-time job.
So there you have it  –  the view from 20,000 feet of the prospect and process of finding a job or new or expanded professional role in today’s challenging employment marketplace.
Sound challenging?  It is!
Sound exciting and worthwhile?  It can be.
Achievable?  With the information, knowledge, and know-how provided by The AJC © ~  Career Strategy, most definitely. 
So pack your bags and let’s begin your journey!

For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tab of the AJC–Career Strategy website.
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