Finding a job is your job
In part one
of this three part series, we explored that you need to be prepared
. Part two is about the fact that finding a job is your job
. Don’t act like you don’t have a job, because you do. You don’t get a paycheck for it at the end of the month, but it is your full-time job.
An important part of finding your next job is to know yourself. Who are you? What do you love to do? Given your passions, what would be the perfect job? Spend a few days introspecting. Think deeply about who you are and what you want before you start looking, and then focus your search on the kinds of roles you want. For myself, I think of things like, “I want to be awesome and help other people be awesome,” and, “I love to lead tech teams, do tech work, and mentor, coach, and train people.”
Next, concisely describe yourself. If you had only 30 seconds to introduce yourself, what would you say? Make it clear and powerful. Imagine walking into a store, asking what they sell, and hearing, “Um, I’m not sure, we kind of do X, but we also do Y …” My concise introduction goes like this:
I am a tech leader. Most recently I was director of engineering at a company building mobile phone apps. I was in charge of the dev team building the apps, and I was in charge of the production op’s team that hosted the server side of the apps. I am looking for my next job, project, or consulting gig, either leading tech teams or helping transform a team by showing them how to do Agile really well. Do you know anyone looking for this kind of help?”
Exercise: Write down three things you are passionate about. What are the best jobs for your passions? Now write your concise introduction. Practice your introduction, first by yourself, and then with everyone you meet.
Now that you know yourself, learn how to sell yourself. You are offering your services to potential buyers. You need to market yourself just like any other product or service. You are the salesman and you are the product. Sell yourself!
Start by finding your market. Don’t waste your time browsing jobs web sites like Monster or those of large companies, and don’t submit your resume through a jobs web site. Instead, identify your professional network and your prospects. Make a list of everyone who might be able to help, including all your former coworkers, the people in your social networks, your phone and email contacts, contacts from previous job searches, neighbors, family, and friends.