Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Monday, September 21, 2009

Landing a Job: Four People ... Continuing with this line of thought

Someone asked for my advice about changing careers a couple of days ago. She wanted suggestions about how she could use her experience in one field to gain an entry-level job in a related field.

Most clients won't use advice of the kind I'm about to offer. (But you're far too polite to ask me why I continue to give it, right?) My advice was for her to watch the video in the previous posting on this blog to identify suitable candidates for interviews and then to rebrand herself. Here it is in a little more detail.

The first suggestion I offered was that she watch the video, identify at least one person in each of these rĂ´les, in the kinds of organisations in which she wants to work, and then ask each of these individuals for their advice about what they prefer or demand in candidates. The usual game plans for information interviews would apply: no job solicitation, go prepared with questions, etc.

With the results of her interviews in hand I suggested that she take a critical look at her own qualifications and think creatively about how she could rebrand herself. She was to look at each requirement that she had learned about and to write a description of herself, using some combination of her own abilities, skills, aptitudes, qualifications, etc that approximated it.

Then I added that, before she did any of this, she should see if she could find out whether there are enough jobs in her target occupation to make all this worth her effort.

Perhaps the following message belongs in every blog entry about finding a job: The single most likely thing that will happen when you submit a job application to an employer is NOTHING. Not only is this discouraging, it is uninformative; it tells you nothing about why you lost the opportunity. The time to do your learning about the employer, about the market, about yourself, about everything necessary to grab the job, is before you apply for it. There is little profit in post mortems. Trust me.