Ten Surefire Strategies To Help You Get The Job You Want
- You need to know who you are to know what you want. Do some introspective work; discover your personal values, your innate talents and strengths. Perhaps you have taken certain assessments in the past such as Meyers Briggs or Disc. A book that I use with all of my clients is called Strengthsfinder 2.0. The idea is to uncover the qualities and assets which you are not only good at, but also like to use.
- You need to know what you want to get what you want. Getting clear on who you are will put you in a better place from which to discover what it is you want. As a rule of thumb, we tend to like to do things we will naturally be good at. There are many assessments, books, and methods that can support you on this journey. Ultimately it is a journey of experimentation and trying things on for size. You can take a look at the books page on my website for some ideas.
- There are four basic strategies to get jobs. Networking, direct contact, recruiters, and responding to ads. Just responding to ads on the internet is not looking for a job. Recruiters and job postings combined, are responsible for filling only 25% of all positions. So it stands to reason, it would be wise to not spend more than 25% of your job search time on these methods.
- Get over your aversion to Networking. We are talking about building relationships with like-minded people. This will be vital to your long-term career success, you can do it now, or find out you should have later. Stop thinking about it in terms of wanting something, and start looking at all you can offer. Not only in terms of what you bring to a job but all of the other talents and resources you possess.
- Prepare for the interview. Most people don’t, you will gain an immediate advantage. Know the company, the department, their challenges and opportunities. Be able to articulate: What you bring to the game – what you can do for the prospective employer. How will you demonstrate your claims in a credible and powerful way?
- Use the interview for multiple purposes. During the interview investigate what challenges is the company and your would-be manager are facing. You want to collect information, so you can write more than a thank you letter. This will be an opportunity to differentiate yourself, by offering solutions and proposals on issues which came up in the interview.
- Address anything that might present a concern, or reservation about hiring you. Do this even if the employer does not bring it up. The question will still be lingering in their mind. You may lack the amount of experience, not have managed the number of people you would be here, or not know some technical issue. If it is there, they are thinking about it. Ease their anxiety about the potential objection; show them what they are getting.
- Differentiate yourself. Take it for granted that every candidate interviewed is going to possess the minimum tangible requirements to fill the job. How will you differentiate yourself? How are you going to communicate the added value you are bringing? Get them excited by other skills you’d bring to the organization. Other problems you can help solve, other opportunities you can help them take advantage of.
- Show them you are an expert. This is a huge mistake many people make. They are afraid they are going to limit their opportunities , so they try to present themselves with broad experience. Most organizations are looking to hire experts not generalists, and experts are valued more. It is only in select industries or departments that there are needs for generalists. The more you can demonstrate your expertise, the more attractive you will be as a candidate.
- Write much more than a thank you letter. Use the information you gathered during the interview as an opportunity to continue the interview. Show them you understand the challenges. You can even go as far to offer specific solutions and ideas which address these challenges, write a proposal if you want. Going the extra mile like this, is where you can stand out.
“No one is coming to solve life’s problems for you. If you do not do something different, nothing is going to get better. Happy people are typically pro-active. They do not passively wait for someone else to do something. They take initiative in the pursuit of whatever is important to them. They do not wait for the world or someone else to make them happy, which they know is impossible.” –Nathaniel Branden
Professional Freedom is based on recognizing the choices we have and taking responsibility for them. Not making a choice is still a choice.
You may hate your job, you are still choosing to get up and go to your place of work every day. You might be saying at this moment, “he doesn’t understand, I have to pay the bills, or keep a roof over my head. I do understand, you are actually choosing to earn money over not showing up for a job you don’t like There is no judgement in this choice, it sounds like a responsible one. It is not a circumstance that is happening independently, it is a choice you are making. When you don’t own the choices in your life, you start to consider yourself a victim, and it becomes easy to blame other people, or circumstances for your situation. This kind of thinking is disempowering, it is giving away your freedom, and will keep you stagnant for a long time.
Commuters generally take the same route to work every day. You have probably found the timeliest route and it has become a habit. You are choosing to use that route every day. We can choose how to respond to someone who cuts us off in traffic, says something we disagree with, or doesn’t do their job. How and whether you respond is up to you. If someone does something you don’t like, you choose how to react or respond, how long you want to hang on to it, and how much energy you want to give to it. Three is no rule, or law of the universe that even says you have to give it a second thought. It is actually when our emotions run high that we have the opportunity to be our strongest. This is when the urge to say or do something feels so compelling, it almost doesn’t feel like a choice. Sometimes our reaction is so quick, the choice may even be just below our consciousness. You can still bring awareness to it, and decide how you want to proceed.
Are you expecting your company or boss to look after you, because you have been so loyal and done such a great job? There isn’t any person or organization that will look out for your interests better than you can. At any moment you can choose to start taking care of yourself, taking responsibility for your life, and your choices. This is where you stop blaming others in your past or your present; you recognize a white knight or fairy godmother is not coming to rescue you. You present situation is the result of choices you made, you can also make choices that will change your current circumstances if they are not to your liking.
This is when a person grows up. It is a scary prospect to take responsibility for one’s life, career, and especially of your dreams. There isn’t anyone that can make your dreams happen for you, there isn’t any other person that is concerned with doing this. Even if there were, the most empowering thing you can do for yourself is to act is if there weren’t, and go out and make them happen yourself. Who knows whether they will happen. Taking responsibility for them, what needs to be done, will in itself be transformative.
Go out and try it for a day, week, month, year. Just take responsibility for your choices, your life, and your dreams. Let us know what happens.
This New York Times article highlights the challenges senior executives face when looking for new work. Through highlighting the relationship between a laid off CEO and his Career Coach, they highlight some vital points senior executives should implement when seeking new employment. These include structure of a resume, and just how important networking is. Not networking in the sense of handing out business cards, instead initiating contact with people you know and don’t know to discuss ideas, and your plan.
Here are some excerpts with a link to the full story below.
“We try to work on it a little every day,” Mr. Redmond said. “Three contacts today, three tomorrow. At the end of month we have 60 people thinking about this guy who can bring all this knowledge to a growing industry.”
………executives …typically..find new positions in seven to nine months, although in a recession that could be a year. Full Article
In an apartment he shares here with six roommates, Mr. Andon started a business in September building jellyfish aquariums, capitalizing on new technology that helps the fragile creatures survive in captivity. He has sold three tanks, one for $25,000 to a restaurant, and is starting a Web site to sell desktop versions for $350.
more @ NY Times
What do these 10 Time Magazine covers have in common?
They are all from the 70’s. More good times to come.
In light of the current turbulent business and economic times, most people are in survival mode. They are hoping they do not get fired, and thankful to have a job. Gratitude is always a good thing. Even in these turbulent times, one does not need to lose sight of their dream, or vision. People will still get promotions, raises, and make lots of money. While there are never any guarantees, these suggestions for rising to the top hold just as true in a thriving economy as they do in a down economy.
- Develop a compelling vision for yourself. You can’t get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going. Have a clear strong vision of what you believe, who you are, and where you are heading. Write it, draw it, make a collage, just get it down on paper.
- Translate your vision into goals. Choose goals that are in alignment with your vision. Write down five of the goals that will turn your vision into reality
- Become known in your company or industry as the person who gets things done. Identify the projects and roles that will increase your visibility and contribute to your company’s success. Capitalize on it.
- Study your boss, his boss, and the leaders of your company and industry. Discover how they got where they did.
- Play well with others. Develop relationships with hundreds of colleagues throughout your company and industry. Be well-known and well-liked.
- Be a leader. it’s very different than a manager.
- Exude enthusiasm. I am always surprised at how many people say they love their work, with an expressionless face. If you love your work, show it. Enthusiasm is infectious; people love to be around it. If you don’t love your work, maybe you need to reconsider what you are doing?
- Learn. Always be learning about your industry and company. What’s coming down the road? How does technology impact it? If you think there is nothing new to learn about your role, business, or industry, Think Again!
- Become indispensible. Have the impactful client, skill, knowledge that no one else has.
- Take risks. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks where there is high potential for success, and little room for disaster.
Granny D just turned 99. The icon, activist and grandmother of 16, has walked across America and travels the country fighting for the causes she believes in. At the age of 94 she ran for U.S. Senator Below is an excerpt from one of her many inspiring talks.
Finding your genius is sometimes a hard trick. Sometimes it is easily spotted, embraced and nurtured. But some of you will not find it until you are old and gray. Some of you will never find it, though it was always there for you to find, I assure you. Sometimes we see it and do not want to find it quite where it pops up. “Well, yes, I happen to be very good at that, but, Dear Lord, I don’t want to be that for life.” Read More
A long-time favorite of mine, here is Henry David Thoreaus take on conformity, from the last chapter of Waldon.
“Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such
desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his
companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let
him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree
or an oak. Shall he turn his spring into summer? If the condition
of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality
which we can substitute? We will not be shipwrecked on a vain
reality. Shall we with pains erect a heaven of blue glass over
ourselves, though when it is done we shall be sure to gaze still at
the true ethereal heaven far above, as if the former were not?”
Henry David Thoreau,
Don’t watch this video now. Save it for when you feel like you can’t get out of bed in the morning to start your day.
Meet Nick Vujicic:
I am not sure if it is biological or human conditioning, but it seems that we spend a lot more time worrying or stressing over what might go wrong, rather than expecting something extraordinary to happen. Worrying and stressing are not at the top of my agenda these days, don’t get me wrong, the reality of what is happening in the financial, business, and job markets certainly lend themselves to concern.I am not an economist or finance expert so my understanding of most of what is going on is limited. However, I did decide to do a little research. There have been over 30 recessions since the mid 1800’s. As there is always an expansion after a recession, this means that there have been as many or more economic expansions.
The saying “the best defense is a good offense” comes to mind. There may be as many if not more opportunities during this time. I don’t have advice to offer, just some facts from which you can draw your own conclusions.
During a recession
- GE, Disney, Microsoft, Coors, Dominos Pizza, and Super 8 Motels were started.
- People get hired and promoted.
- People still spend money.
- Even if people are spending less money on buying new stuff, they are spending money on taking care of and repairing what they already own.
- Banks and credit card companies still process billions of transactions every day.
- Lots of people and business tend to react by slowing down. They believe there are none, or very few deals to be had. Could this be a time to ramp up?
- Some industries will still grow, others will shrink
- Employers are more likely to seek out a great fit at a reasonable salary, one whom they would have to pay a higher salary for during other times.
- People who are easy to get along with, fun and enthusiastic are less likely to lose their jobs.
- Unemployed people will need help in finding new jobs.
- Businesses need help navigating the recession
- There are great deals to be had both in terms of consumer products, and buying businesses and properties.
- Having a unique or specialized set of skills will make you stand out regardless of the economy.
There are many other opportunities out there, these were just a few to perhaps nudge a shift in your thinking.I saw an interview this weekend with Patricia Routledge the English actress. When she was asked by another actor what she attributed her success to, she said taking risks. If you are successful and you continue to do what brought you that success, you will continue to have the same success. It is by trying something different or new that will bring you the next level of success.