If you are not absolutely clear about what you want as that NEXT STEP in your career, envision an ideal position that will value you for the main characteristics and experiences you want to be hired for.
Since you need to be concise and clear when developing your Personal Marketing collateral materials (resume, BIO, verbal communication, and your LinkedIn profile), it’s important to figure out what you best offer in your next position, so you know exactly what skills and experiences to highlight.
Make FIT happen!
NEXT Session: Thursday, November 1st…Turning Opportunities Into INTERVIEWS: A HOW-TO look at turning research and target organization networking into INTERVIEWS!
RESEARCH: Analyze Your Target Industry
Once you know what you want to do, your next step is identifying where you want to be—think industry, city, and companies. Then, research your industry and key trends affecting it now: Read relevant industry news articles, research companies, and analyze job descriptions you’re interested in.
SELF-Assessment: Find Your Fit and Focus on CAREER Objectives
With your knowledge of your target industry, it’s time to figure out how you fit in (or want to). Identify, describe, and refine your key selling points with your end goal in mind. Then, craft them into 4-6 bullets, shooting for statements that are vivid and that clearly illustrate what you bring to the table over anyone else.
- What is the intersection of your ‘value proposition’ and what your target industry, or specific Company, needs?
- What are your most impactful areas of experience, knowledge, or skill?
- What critical problems are you well suited to solve?
Pay Attention to the Nitty Gritty
As you begin to think about the type of career transition you want to make, what IS the next appropriate employment for you… start out by documenting what you already know to be true about your professional self.
- Give specific attention to what you spend the most time doing, those functional details of your work that have the greatest impact on your employer’s success, and, especially, what are you uniquely providing that gives value to your role?
- Take notes about when you’re feeling particularly unmotivated or unenthused about your job. Write down the tasks that bring you down as well as those that get you excited.
- It may seem like a tedious exercise, but if you stick with it, patterns will start to emerge. And it’s in teasing out these patterns that’ll help you build a picture of the role that’s right for you.
Schedule Informational “Interviews” With Key Contacts
In addition to being introspective, it’s also important to get out there and start becoming your own best CAREER Coach, learning about satisfying next steps, the career moves you’re interested in. And what better resource than the very people already in, or connected with, those you seek?
As an active job seeker, especially in the first few months of a job search, networking your way to one informational interview per week is essential to your campaign’s success. This may sound like a lot, but initially quantity is more important than quality as you want to get a sense of a wide variety of roles in different industries based on the results of your introspection.
The more people you speak with, the more you’ll be exposed to fields you might wish to pursue. With that said, you don’t want the person on the receiving end to feel that way—so always make sure to come prepared and send a thank you.