Create A Brave New You in the Job Search
Having worked with hundreds of professionals over the past 10 years who have experienced redundancies there have been many times clients have said to me, “I’ve been with this company for over 10 (or 15 or 20) years and walked into my first role there in my early twenties. I’ve never had to market myself before – job search seemed so easy years ago. It seems much more complicated now and, with the number of candidates in the job market, competition being stiff, I don’t know what to do to get it right.”
The Global Financial Crisis contributed to the change in the way things were done. Those looking for a job need to let go of ‘The Way We Were.’ Unfortunately there is no longer such a thing as a stable corporate job you can expect to keep until you retire. With that in mind, do you want to spend all your time and effort chasing after the increasingly scarce ‘permanent’ full time top-end roles (Vice President of this, Chief of that, etc.) and then wonder how long it will be before the next major restructure or younger model of you pushes you back into the job market?
Let’s get past all that and look at the situation with a fresh perspective. Companies have problems that need solving. What is your expertise and how are you going to position yourself as the answer to their problems?
Take initiative and identify your niche strengths; determine your specific skill sets and abilities and research to find your target market. Your target market will be the organizations that you have identified who will benefit from having you tackle their specific problems head on.
Once you have done that you need to digitize your brand. You can easily position yourself on the global Internet by creating a compelling online profile (for example, if you are not on www.linkedin.comyou are limiting your chances of branding yourself as an up-to-date technology savvy professional and the chances of being found.) You may wonder why you need to do this when you could rely on Executive Search Firms to headhunt you (because you know you’re so good at what you do.) The world is now an online community and for any of us to remain marketable we have to adapt to this brave new online world of job search.
By creating a strong professional profile on www.linkedin.comyou will be able to prove your expertise easily through your specific accomplishments and tangible results plus the endorsements by other professionals who know and respect you and can recommend you on your profile.
You can quickly create a virtual network of business connections; reconnect with those with whom you have worked in the past, your managers, peers, team members, customers and clients. All these people create a link between you and your potential target market.
The more active you are in this professional online community the greater the likelihood you will capture the attention of a potential hiring, decision making manager.
In addition to permanent full time positions, launch yourself into the marketplace for any kind of income stream from temporary and contract roles, interim management to getting on boards or even establish yourself as an industry professional and set up your own consultancy. This is the best way to gain control of your career.
To make a start, set up your online profile. If you don’t know what to include in your profile have a look at mine: http://au.linkedin.com/in/janejackson
My suggestion is that once your profile is set up, to connect with those with whom you have a business relationship. Some networking professionals recommend that everyone is a potential contact to accept online. However, I prefer to be more selective as I like to know my contacts – either through working together face to face, having met in a workshop I have conducted or attended or through telephone coaching conversations or personal contacts. This way, should I wish some guidance or assistance from any of my contacts they will probably be willing as they know me and feel comfortable providing advice. The choice is yours once you are familiar with the online community.
Remember that the online marketing of this Brave New You should also be augmented by plenty of face-to-face time with your existing and ‘soon-to-be’ contacts.