So, you are looking for your next big professional conquest. In a bad economy. And, it is an uphill climb.
I get it. Been there, done that.
You know what they say. Count on the same number of months to find a new job as half the number of ten thousand dollar multiples in your expected salary.
So, if you are looking for $100,000 in pay, count on a search of 5 months. For a $50,000 job, assume 2.5 months.
That’s if you work at job-hunting full-time. And, that’s in a good economy.
In a bad economy and in part-time job-hunting mode, you can double that estimate easily. And even with that, the job may not be your most cherished dream come true. In fact, it will probably be far from it.
So, what can you do to improve the odds?
If you are a conventional job hunter, you apply for all relevant jobs on the major job sites. And you reach out to all the executive search companies you know to see if they have something that makes sense for you
If you are a bit more seasoned at this pursuit, you may reach out to appropriate people in your network for accessing the hidden job market, the positions that haven’t yet made it to the job boards and the recruiters.
These are not bad ideas. They do increase the odds of a happy conclusion incrementally. And they give you a sense of ongoing engagement and effort, the nice, warm feeling that you are trying.
But, in finding the right job for you that maximizes fit, form, function, and financials, they are far from being optimally efficient or effective.
They are all outbound marketing approaches, based on push methods.
Think of the last time a salesperson was pushing a product hard with you. A car, a cell-phone plan, a time-share. Do you remember what went through your mind?
If you are anything like most people, your bull—- meter was up, your hackles were raised, and your defences were activated. And you didn’t buy.
Why do you think that happened?
Because, the behavioural economics of supply and demand dictate that when supply is positioned too forcefully against the demand, it generates healthy amounts of distrust and suspicion.
People love to buy. But they hate to be sold.
The job market for talent is no different. If you are actively looking for a job (supply of talent), just that fact reduces your leverage and bargaining position with the folks who have access to those jobs (demand for talent).
No, pull methods using inbound marketing work much, much better. Let the mountain come to Mohammad, instead of the other way around. Draw the demand to the supply. Make them want you more than you want them. Change the game.
In other words, go from job hunter to job hunted.
But, how do you do that?
For the early entrants in this space, you post your profile on professional networking websites. You use all the keywords suggested as popular ones that drive traffic to your profile. You ask people you have worked with to endorse you and recommend you. You work diligently on expanding your network. You re-post articles that you find on the web for your connections. Maybe you even write new content in your space to brand your expertise. You congratulate people in your network unfailingly on their birthdays and anniversaries.
Again, these are not bad things to do. They do increase your odds of being job-hunted, and of company recruiters or executive search firms reaching out to you. Happens to me about once a month.
Yes, these are good tactics. But good is not good enough when great is possible.
You can be great at being job-hunted. But not by doing what everyone else is doing.
Remember, millions people on these professional networking sites are doing the same thing as you are when you behave conventionally. In this situation, as in many others, you are better off with the George Costanza philosophy from Seinfeld.
Do the opposite. You don’t know what you will find. But whatever you do, you will be the first to find it.
Here’s what I am talking about.
Do you know the single most persuasive approach that online bookstores found in getting you to buy? Without ever talking to you?
It is to let you sample the product.
It works brilliantly.
So much so that people go to the bookstore down the street to leaf through the books there, and then buy them online. And they go to the electronics store down the street to look at the TVs there, and buy them on online. Much to the chagrin of shareholders in bricks and mortar retail.
What works for online retailers can work for you too.
Let people sample Product You.
How do you do that?
Be George Costanza. Do the opposite. Stop looking for a job. Start looking for an engagement.
What does that mean?
Instead of looking for a Call Center Director job, speak at the staff meeting of a VP of Call Centers at the company you want to work for, regarding best practices in call center management.
Instead of looking for a VP-Operations job, take on a consulting engagement at a target company to improve productivity and customer experience in their Operations group.
Instead of looking for a Manager- Internet Marketing job, mentor a senior executive in a different industry sector who doesn’t know that space as well as you do.
Once these prospects see your work and like it, they will want to hire you on their own, without your ever mentioning it. And if they don’t have a position to offer themselves, they will become impassioned evangelists on your behalf with others who do.
But, how do you find these engagements, you ask?
You could go to websites that cater to people looking for these types of engagements. There are a few of those. Search engines can find them for you faster than I can type their names in this article, so I won’t waste your time doing that.
But, when you find them, and dig deeper into them, you will discover this.
They are meant for professionals who speak, and train, and consult, and publish full time, for a living, not for folks like you with a day job who want to try their hand at it to expand your brand.
However, there is one website dedicated to creating a community for these kinds of engagements. It is the first ever engagement network, with 8 different types of knowledge sourcing engagements, offered by professionals for professionals.
It is called QuantumFly.
QuantumFly doesn’t do pokes, pins, and pics. It doesn’t send reminders of anniversaries and birthdays. It doesn’t curate news articles about your connections.
Instead, it helps you DO stuff. Like leveraging your social network connectivity to find engagements in your area of expertise globally. Like getting and displaying feedback on your work in these engagements. Like building an economically rational network of customers and providers for Product You.
It will soon be the largest knowledge sourcing portal on the planet.
You can thank us later.