When looking for a job you cannot afford to focus on more than one specific area of opportunity. Most of us have a range of things we like to do, and are good at, and – often – have done. Sadly, that does not help in terms of finding a job. If you go to market with an unfocused strategy you will come across as though you are lacking clarity and focus on what you want to do – and hence find it hard to land the role you want. You’ll be going to agencies and employers sending out the message – ‘hey – look at me, I can do a whole range of work and stuff!’ – and you’ll be unlikely to succeed in your job search.
Find the ideal position
So instead – you need to find the one possible position that you will be ideally suited to. You have to work at exploring your capabilities, your connections and networks, and – using your creativity – design the ideal position for you. Work out what you actually want to do and get clear about why you want it and why you’re right for that job. We help people do this every day and we know that this is the essential first step in securing your next career move.
So, what one target are you going to concentrate on in terms of your search? In order to find a new job – not just any job, but your next career move – it is crucial to focus on one target. That’s because if you communicate that you are looking for a particular job, the person you are talking to – whether it’s someone in your network, a potential employer, or a recruiter – can then use their knowledge of the world to assist you. They might offer you strategic advice, or analytical help, or access to their network.
Whatever it is, it will be valuable and is only available if you communicate specific and focused messages to them.
Do your research
How much do you actually know about your target area of opportunity? Once you know your target area of opportunity, you need to research it and get to understand it deeply. Who are the key players in the industry, sector, or company? Is the target area of opportunity growing or shrinking? Who in your existing network can you talk to about what is actually happening now in the target area of opportunity, so that you can position yourself as a person uniquely qualified to offer value to potential employers?
What unseen advantage do you have, that this research will enable you to play up so that you become irresistible to your target employer?
What value do you bring?
What value does this opportunity bring you, and you bring it? Once you have established your value to the target employer, everything becomes easier. You can now take an active role in securing a job.
Now go for it
You can arrange to meet potential employers, and since your communication with them will be clear and compelling, they will recognize you as a person they want to – indeed, at times, have to – employ. In our experience, once that happens, a job offer and the next step in your career will come naturally.
Related: How To Rekindle Your Job Search Fire.
Nisa Chitakasem is the founder of Position Ignition – a careers company dedicating to taking you to the next step in your career.