As a career coach at a major University, I am dealing with young job hunters everyday and for the ones graduating this spring, there is, for the students that have not secured a job, a real sense of anxiety. Very common to feel the pressure knowing you don’t have something lined up and May is fast approaching. I also deal with, as a consultant, many mid/senior level job seekers and they will feel the same, albeit for a different reason, the same sense of anxiety. What it all boils down to, no matter what stage you’re at; if you need a job, you need to put a strategic plan in place.
I implore my clients to think of him or her as, ‘the brand’, ‘the product’ or ‘the service’. Make no mistake, you are looking for a job – You are SELLING and MARKETING you!
All brands launch with a strategic plan. No company puts new product out without market research. Apple, Coke, Google, McDonalds – you name a brand and before launching something new, they have a strategic team getting information to better understand the market and how the new product will do.
It is no different for you – the job seeker, the brand, the product, and the service. You MUST understand the market and see where and how you fit. You may learn that you don’t fit. That is valuable information to have as it can help you determine where and how to position yourself. If your market is robust and full of opportunity, you leverage that information and push. If, on the other hand, you learn the market you are considering isn’t as hearty as you thought or hoped, then you know to minimize the time invested there.
So, when you are thinking about your career and how to begin, you need to stop, think, reflect, research, be pro-active on your own behalf and TURN UP THE HEAT.