Building a bridge between your career vision and strategy
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 email@example.com, subject line: Vision, Strategy, Tactics.