Build­ing a bridge be­tween your ca­reer vi­sion and strat­egy

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Kath­leen Win­sor-Games — Kath­leen Win­sor-Games is the prin­ci­pal of The Win­sor Group, a Den­ver-based firm of­fer­ing lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment, team build­ing and ca­reer coach­ing. See her blog at TheWin­sorGroup.com.

So far this year I have writ­ten about the im­por­tance of ar­tic­u­lat­ing a well-de­fined ca­reer vi­sion and strat­egy. They will pro­foundly im­prove your fo­cus and help you speak ef­fec­tively to your tar­get mar­ket, thus ac­cel­er­at­ing your job search. What I of­ten learn from frus­trated job seek­ers is that they dusted off their ré­sumé and started ap­ply­ing for jobs be­fore defin­ing these el­e­ments.

Vi­sion can be de­fined as your val­ues, strengths, role, scope or im­pact (C-Suite or en­try level), de­sired cul­ture and com­pen­sa­tion. You will do your best work when you find work that takes these fac­tors into con­sid­er­a­tion. Think about where you have been hap­pi­est at work. Ar­tic­u­late the prob­lem you best solve at work. Now you have gone a long way to­ward defin­ing your vi­sion.

Strat­egy can be de­fined as iden­ti­fy­ing and con­nect­ing with com­pa­nies that hire peo­ple with your val­ues, skills and strengths. Which com­pa­nies are in growth mode? Don’t limit your re­search to open job post­ings. Think more broadly about the cul­ture traits, in­no­va­tion level and rev­enue size of com­pa­nies in your in­dus­try.

Once you have re­vis­ited your vi­sion and strat­egy, you are ready to launch a fresh set of self-mar­ket­ing and per­sonal brand­ing tac­tics that build a bridge be­tween the two el­e­ments. Your ré­sumé can now be more stream­lined be­cause it is fo­cused to a tar­get mar­ket. Your net­work­ing pitch should con­tain a sense of pas­sion or ex­cite­ment about your cho­sen field. This makes you a more en­gag­ing net­worker, and should spill over into your in­ter­views.

You can sim­plify your search by tak­ing these ideas into ac­count:

Build a tar­get list of 100-200 com­pa­nies that ap­pear to align with your val­ues and reg­u­larly hire peo­ple with your skills. If you are in train­ing and de­vel­op­ment in the tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try, tar­get com­pa­nies with rev­enue to hire a team of train­ers.

Fol­low the com­pa­nies on LinkedIn that ap­pear to fit your pro­file. They may post job open­ings of in­ter­est to you, but don’t wait for post­ings be­fore forg­ing re­la­tion­ships with peers and po­ten­tial hir­ing man­agers. Join as­so­ci­a­tions where you can meet your fu­ture col­leagues and boss.

Use all the in­for­ma­tion and in­sights gained about your strengths, the prob­lems you solve and your tar­get com­pa­nies to re­fresh your ré­sumé, LinkedIn pro­file, net­work­ing pitch and in­ter­view re­sponses. You should now be able to tai­lor each of these self-mar­ket­ing com­po­nents to match the needs of hir­ing com­pa­nies while also demon­strat­ing your au­then­tic val­ues and ac­com­plish­ments.

Use LinkedIn strate­gi­cally to boost your vis­i­bil­ity by fol­low­ing the com­pa­nies you ad­mire in your in­dus­try, com­ment­ing on thought leader posts, and adding valu­able con­tent to your LinkedIn pro­file. This could in­clude adding a video clip of your train­ing pre­sen­ta­tions, a white pa­per or link to a pub­lished ar­ti­cle. Look for ways to in­te­grate your val­ues, strengths, role and scope of im­pact in your self-mar­ket­ing. This will bring a fresh, unique voice to your self-mar­ket­ing ef­forts, which in turn will gen­er­ate in­ter­est in your skills.

For a free work­sheet, email info@thewin­sorgroup.com, sub­ject line: Vi­sion, Strat­egy, Tac­tics.

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