What I heard from these job seekers is a common challenge for many of us in the market. We don’t go where we’re needed.
We get very busy in the job search transactions that we tend to overlook some fundamentals that dictate the right activity and target the right company. We email resumes, go on dozens of interviews then repeat the cycle. But we miss the big reason of why we are putting forth our time, energy, miles and money to this effort.
One candidate said that she has been in accounting for over 15years. Her background is essentially in the same area of expertise and she was starting to think that companies generally prefer someone who is younger with less experience.
After some discussion, it was clear that she wasn’t maximizing her competitive edge. She may not have the cross-function background in accounting. However, she could still leverage that companies can immediately benefit from the maturity and wisdom that she can bring to an accounting department.
Remember: Companies aren’t hiring because they want to provide a sense of security to you. They hire because they have problems that need to be solved and you’ve got to present yourself as the one to solve it.
Consider this: there is only ONE of you. Only ONE company can hire you full-time. This means for the next several months or years, you can devote your daily working hours to ONE employer or project. This is enough to show you that you need to make this choice count.
What are some ways you know that the company is where you’re needed? Here are a few questions you can use:
- Does the position provide you an opportunity to consistently solve problems?
- Does the job adequately utilize your current skills and background?
- Is there enough work to keep you there for at least one year?
- If you completed the tasks in half the time, what other responsibilities would you take on?
- Does the job have potential responsibilities that you haven’t done or managed before?
- Is there an opportunity to learn something new?
- Is the company currently exploring systems/software or automated methods that may make your job obsolete?
- What do you believe you can contribute to the position within the first week of work? The first 30 days? The first 90 days?
The distinction with this market is that it actually demands the job seeker to be very directed and specific in their efforts. Employers and projects now require targeted expertise, finite time lines and any forms of guarantee that their problem will be solved. This means that you, as the job seeker, need to be more clever and practical at identifying the places that need you the most.
"But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another." Galatians 6:4