I find that most of my days are a series of events that can be summed up into the following:
- Situation (State)
- Reaction (New State)
The decisions and actions you take shape the state, situation, climate, environment or progress of your personal and work life. How you chose to spend your free time, what you plan to eat, when you plan to study, who you chose to befriend, which certifications you chose to pursue or what jobs you target, etc. all impact your life. Shouldn’t you take the time to think about the decisions you make?
When we look at careers and finding a job – we base things on situation. For example, if you’re newly out of college or really displeased with your job, you might start looking for any job. The situation you’re in will influence the decisions you make. You might want to try something new/different, something you like, something you’re good at, etc. If you pause for a second and start thinking about career versus job, then you might want to explore things in a way that align to your professional goals.
If you’ve been following my blogs for the past several years, you know that I want you to be thinking about the end state you want to be in and with success in mind, working backwards towards achieving that success. Trust me, I get it – if you need a job to fulfill your financial obligations… you gotta do what you gotta do, but assuming you have more flexibility; find the career and environment that is right for you and your future plans.
Using a Marketing Plan
I focus my life around being the best me that I can be and in that pursuit I focus on learning, simplifying, practicing, improving and giving back. Shy of two years ago, I was introduced to marketing plans as a way of narrowing your career search. When I look at my friends and those around me, I discover that many cast their nets wide when looking for jobs, relationships, places to travel or eat, etc. Many become overwhelmed when presented with too many choices. A marketing plan can help you limit your search and find the right opportunity for you. Over the next two blogrs, we’ll look at what makes up a marketing plan.
This is similar to old school resumes where you would list characteristics of yourself and job you desire. You may end up sharing your marketing plan with others, but regardless with whether you do or don’t be honest with yourself. Your objective might include the position or title of position you’re after, very brief description of the role you’re after and possibly the environment.
Your Ideal/Desired Roles
There are many jobs we can do, but which ones align to your career goals? List them out, don’t list any job you could live with, but rather the one that will get you the skills you want to build most. Really think about this.
Your Positioning Statement
This is who you are, your credentials/strengths, why you’re looking for a new opportunity, what you’re looking for and should answer ‘tell me about yourself’ in a professional capacity.
Eileen – “I specialize in frontend development for cloud automation platforms. Over the last two years, I’ve helped many start up develop prototypes which have led to their funding. I’m graduating next month from MIT and looking at opportunities that will allow me to leverage my skills.”
Leo – “I am a network professional adept in architecting large scale networks and SDN. I have experience deploying and managing Cisco networks for fortune 500 companies globally. Recently, my company started downsizing and I’m exploring new opportunities in the SDN space which over the last year I’ve been deploying.”
Think about how you want to articulate your positioning statement. You don’t need to end with, do you know anyone hiring or can you help me find something. If phrased that you are seeking something new or your next endeavor, it’s clear and in general I think most people who want to help you will based on this.
What are your skills? Do they tie back somehow to what you wanna do? If they don’t, rethink your goals. I use this section to mention departments that I have experience working in or those that I could work in, provided there is relevancy to my long term goals.
We’ll stop here for now. I’d like you to start thinking about these things. Have you used something similar for targeting jobs? What has worked for you? I’d love to hear what are things you consider. Next time we'll look at the second half of the marketing plan and put it all together.