1. Develop the right mindset
Quiet any self-doubt. Don’t talk yourself into ways you won’t succeed. Take action to help you move forward to achieve your career goals.
Prepare to work hard. Reflection, networking, trying new things is hard work. Prepare to spend a lot of time and energy in your job search.
Consider new ways of doing things when you don’t get the results you want. If one method to your job search isn’t working, change it. For example, if you’ve applied to 200 jobs via company websites and you haven’t heard back, what will you do differently?
2. Consider the possibilities
There are three major factors that determine your career sweet spot – your dreams, your talents, and the market. If you are positioning yourself well in two of the factors, you are close to finding your spot. With a little reflection and action, you can have a more satisfying career. Imagine what it is like to be fully engaged in your work; you’re fulfilling your dreams, applying your talents, and working in the correct market.
If you’re fulfilling your dreams and are in the right market without using your talents, there is a skill gap. Either you need to develop the skills or better market yourself so people are aware you have the skills.
If you’re using your talents and satisfying your dreams and few people are willing to pay you for your efforts, you have a hobby. It’s hard to sustain the lifestyle you’re accustomed to when you can’t earn a steady income doing what you love.
If you’re using your talents in a market you enjoy and are quieting your desire to follow your dreams, you may feel like you are checking the box or going through the motions. Don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of people checking the box – I used to check the box. It’s easy to check the box.
3. Identify your ideal role
Pick the role that interests you the most. Focus your efforts here.
4. Develop your action plans
- For the role you picked, what are the hiring manager’s goals? What challenges are they experiencing? How can you help them achieve their goals and overcome their challenges? When networking, I challenge you to learn as much as you can about hiring managers’ interests so you can focus your brand accordingly. Who can help you schedule informational interviews? What skills do hiring managers value? What makes one successful in their organization?
- How can one meet hiring managers? Use LinkedIn to research potential hiring managers. See if anyone in your network can introduce you. Reach out to them directly. Ask your network for suggestions? Go to events where they will likely be.
- As you are meeting new people and asking your existing network for help, focus on developing the relationship. What can you do to provide value for them?
- With a solid understanding of hiring managers’ goals and challenges for your ideal position, it’s time to demonstrate it. I challenge you to fine-tune your resume, elevator pitch, and interviewing skills so you can clearly articulate the value you provide to the hiring manager.
- Either through networking, informational interviews, or researching job postings, you can learn about the knowledge and skills needed to successfully perform the role. How do these desired skills compare with your existing skills? What can you do to develop these skills? What certifications are needed to demonstrate your credibility? Who can you learn from?
What will you do to propel your career?