Saturday, June 23, 2007

How Do You Eat An Elephant? Page 3

So How Do You Eat An Elephant?
(and what does it have to do with your job search)

Coach Jenny has an awesome answer - the key of how to eat an elephant. “One bite at a time.”

Coach Mike adds that a critical part of effective marathon and triathlon training is to “take the time to make a realistic training plan.”

Both comments are directly applicable to job search, but to a candidate, eating an elephant isn’t about putting on the miles.

How can a candidate eat an elephant in 4 steps:
  1. Make a written project plan: Very few candidates prepare a written project plan. This is more than something in your head, a follow up tracking, a to-do list, or a list of target companies/contacts. Much like managers prepare a project plan for multi-month large scale projects to track many moving parts, job seekers have a huge benefit when preparing a formal plan for their job search. For details on how to prepare a project plan for your job search, see

  2. Research, research, research: Most candidates don’t do much research until they are preparing for an interview. That’s great news to those candidates who realize that their best chance of getting an interview is by gaining information that their competitors don’t have - by researching to find non-public information (see

  3. Address the employer’s problems: Rather than looking for a job, look for problems that you are uniquely qualified to solve - here’s how (

  4. Be unique: Strive to present yourself in ways that will differentiate from the pack. Instead of using the same techniques as your friends, peers, or co-workers, approach your job search differently. While most candidates have learned to try to be all things to all people, that doesn’t work well in a job market where there are less jobs than candidates. Instead, focus on your specific strengths ... what makes you unique and different. Instead of emphasizing the wide variety of all the things you could do, instead focus on what you do better than anyone else and companies who need those specific skills. (see
Personally, I like to eat my elephant with lots and lots of road salt ... 

Many thanks to Coaches Jenny Hadfield and Mike Norman for inspiring this article.

How will you eat your personal elephant?

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