In a meeting a few weeks ago, a colleague brought up approaching the job search using a business model. This has been stewing in my subconscious for a while and is only partly formulated but I gravitated to the concept and how it can help clients visualize the steps needed for a fruitful search.
The C-Suite is focused on setting strategic direction, along with establishing waypoints and measuring success. Your search will be more effective if you have clear employment goals, a road map to get you there and are consistently evaluating progress.
This is the actual job search and applying for positions, along with collecting resources or documentation required for applications. Look for ways that you can increase productivity through email alerts, RSS feeds and other tools so you can spend more time on the things that generate a better return on investment.
Covers everything from promotional materials (resumes & cover letters), interactive campaigns (social media) to events (networking). You’ve got to raise your brand awareness to be successful in a crowded labour market and its very crowded these days.
Needed for closing deals at networking events to land informational and employment interviews. In interviews, you’ll want to identify your prospect’s concerns and counter them effectively. Remember to focus on benefits (what’s in it for the employer) and not the features (no company thinks simply adding more MBAs will grow the bottom line). You’ll also need to embrace your inner-salesperson to help pick up that phone, deal with rejection and be diligent with follow up.
Skills a little out of date? Workshops, short-term courses, (re)certifications and self-directed learnings can add value to your product, which is you. In some cases — declining industries or personal desire — a more radical investment may be required, such as another diploma or degree.
Evaluating your financial position is important, as you want to make informed decisions about your options. Do you have enough savings to look for a job you want or are bills piling up and you need to find a survival job immediately? Reviewing your expenses, can you reduce your burn rate to give yourself more options? If you need to take some training or look at buying new tools, software or other items for a new job, do you have the savings necessary or have ideas to access funding through credit or perhaps training grants?
Searching for work, especially in a recessed economy, can get discouraging at times, so make sure you’re keeping up morale. Small rewards for hitting milestones, relationship building with your personal network and talking with a career coach or mentor can be helpful in developing a career plan. It’s also important to maintain a strong (looking for) work/life balance with friends and family, as relationships can become strained or ignored due to financial hardships or negative feelings around loss of employment.