Saturday, March 27, 2010

Would You Stop Looking for a Job Already? Best of reCareered

Yep, that’s right... Stop looking for a job.

You’ll find a better job, a more fulfilling career, and likely higher pay if you just stop looking for a job already.

You can be more effective in your career search if you change the paradigm. Instead, start searching for a problem. Find a problem that you can uniquely solve; a problem that needs a subject matter expert – you.

Read more ...

So how do you find that problem?

If you are interested in a particular company, read press releases, articles, Yahoo Finance, annual reports, 10Qs, looking for clues about that company’s problems and opportunities. You should easily find the big picture problem or opportunities, but can that affect you, if you’re not a corporate exec?

If you are interested in an industry or job function, read the trade press and industry reports to find out what the industry trends are, and think about what kinds of problems those trends cause for participants.

You can find even more ideas about using information about where to find problems at number of prior articles I've written about various types of less typical job research sources:
  1. 4 Killer Ways To Use Research:
  2. Guerrilla Job Search Tactics:
  3. Use Twitter To Prepare For Your Job Interview:
  4. Can Linkedin Company Pages Help You Find Unadvertised Positions?:
  5. Other research articles by reCareered:

What should you look for in your job search research?

What tactics might a company might use to achieve its goals, or what challenges might be a result of that 25% revenue increase the company projects? If the company is merging, being bought, or is acquisitive, what kinds of problems does the post acquisition integration bring?

It’s a little like playing chess, in that you’ll have to think a few moves ahead to gain insight to potential problems.

Of course, you can still ask these questions in an interview….even better because you’ll be knowledgeable, and will look brilliant by asking such insightful questions (

How is an opportunity a problem?

Let’s say you discover that your target company projects a 25% revenue increase due to new offices opening. Why is there a problem, the company should be celebrating! But 25% more revenue may mean 25% more invoices, 25% larger receivables and bad debt, 25% more sales staff, training new employees, system changes, new office openings ... You may have to extend ahead a few chess moves, but regardless of your anticipated level in the company, you should start to recognize the challenges that your target company will have to overcome.

So you’ve found problems…but which problem is the problem you want to solve?

I'd recommend that you'd want to solve the problem you can solve better than anyone else - the one that will help you advance your career, and create the greatest value for the company.

Think about how you’ve solved similar problems, problems one away from this one, the same problem in a smaller or larger magnitude, or in different industries. Or you’ve solved a problem that stopped this problem from occurring. Think outside of the box here, so you can demonstrate expertise.

If questions come up about these types of problems, don’t, don’t, don’t say “I haven’t done it, but I can learn” (See my earlier posting). It’s death. Instead find similarities with the specific problem, in your own experience.

Since you'll have already discovered your target company's problems through your research, you'll be prepared.

Don't worry about what jobs the company has listed on it's website. If you can define yourself as the solution to a problem, and find the person who has the pain or responsibility related to that problem - you can create your own job, regardless of what's listed on the job boards.

So stop job hunting already….and start problem hunting!

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Related Articles:
Benefits Of Consultant-Think - Best of reCareered
The Inside Track on Recruiters – Top 10 Tips: Best of reCareered

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1 comment:

Dakota said...

Very insightful post! It does make sense because so much of the career search is "self" focused (i.e. what *I, the candidate* am looking for). Reminds me of a quote "It is more blessed to give than to receive." :-)

I once had to select between two equally qualified candidates for a team leader position. The way I made my decision was to ask both of them in a 3rd interview, "why do you want this job?" One person answered - because I think I can help the people grow and develop. The other answered - because I've always wanted to be in a management position.

Gues which one I selected? :-)