Approach Your Job Search with a Clear Plan

As an accomplished professional, you’ve effectively managed challenging projects, conducted due diligence to gain critical information, and leveraged your resources to accelerate results. When tackling tough assignments, you know how to get things done and have earned the respect of your peers and leaders as a result. As you pursue your next career opportunity, however, you’re paralyzed with fear and uncertainty about how to move forward.

A job search is not unlike other initiatives you’ve led throughout your career. By approaching your transition with a similar mindset and applying many of the skills you’ve mastered in previous roles, you’ll avoid the stress and frustration that stymie others.

Here are key steps to help you approach your job search as you would a company project.

Define the problem.

Companies don’t hire talented, expensive employees to fill headcount; they strategically hire professionals who can help them to address key challenges. Before you embark on a job search, consider the problem(s) you are uniquely qualified to solve.

Where does your expertise lie? What challenges have you successfully addressed in the past? Where can you add the greatest value? A clear understanding of your ability to advance a company’s goals will help you differentiate yourself from your competition.

Assess the need.

Now that you’re clear about what you have to offer, you need to know which organizations need your services. Conduct research to learn more about potential targets. What are their goals? Where are they struggling? What holes can you fill?

Collecting this information requires a keen understanding of your business landscape. Leverage resources such as company websites, online publications, and industry groups to learn more about your field. Most importantly, network with others to discuss and validate what you learn through your research.

Strategically market yourself.

Marketing is a critical challenge for many professionals in career transition. While their track records are powerful, ineffective resumes, incomplete LinkedIn profiles, and poor messaging hold them back. To stand out from your competition and establish yourself as the right person for the job, you must have a powerful marketing strategy.

Ensure that your career portfolio reflects your relevant accomplishments, showcases your potential, and aligns directly with your target role. Additionally, have a clear story that you can confidently articulate when talking with decision makers. The burden is on you to establish your value so be proactive about communicating this to others.

Take action.

With a clear understanding of your value, where it is needed, and how to position it, you’re ready for action. Create a plan to focus your efforts and maximize results. Be sure to strategically utilize available resources, such as your network, recruiters, and LinkedIn, to target open opportunities and tap the hidden job market.

As a talented professional, you’ve achieved extraordinary results. Don’t allow fear and limiting beliefs to thwart your job search efforts. By leveraging the same strengths that have led to your career success thus far, you can land your ideal role.

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