Here is the 1 job-hunting method that has a higher success rate than any other. It is self-analysis: doing research on yourself; taking detailed stock of what you have to offer and what you are looking for. It’s not for slackers; but it has big rewards. Here’s how it works.
Job-seeker self-analysis: The method
It revolves around three words: What, Where, How. My client Gabe worked through it:
- WHAT. These are transferable skills. Usually verbs. Gabe’s included organizing, analyzing and researching. He inventoried and identified those—and this is key—that he most enjoyed using. Not the most marketable. Why? What most people love to do is often aligned with what they are good at. They are transferable to any field/career that you choose, regardless of where you first acquired them.
- WHERE. This is about job settings. Think of yourself as a flower; every plant has its optimum environment. Be decisive about where you would most enjoy using your skills, because that is where you will do your most effective work. In career terms, this is often called “fields of fascination” or just “fields.” They are typically nouns. Gabe’s included media, telecommunications, direct marketing and non-profits.
- HOW. This involves answering 5 questions:
- The way in which you perform your job. Usually adjectives or adverbs, these are often called “traits.” Some of Gabe’s traits were quickly, engagingly and expertly.
- The job titles (be open minded; there may be many multiples) of work that involves your transferable skills in your fields of fascination. Gabe’s ranged from media director to internet marketing specialist.
- The names of organizations that have such jobs to offer. They should be in your geographical area of choice. Also nouns, these organizations are your targets. Obviously I won’t name names; but Gabe’s included a list of 25 companies within a large metro area.
- The name of the person(s) in each target organization who actually has the power to hire you. Gabe worked hard, and came up with a list of department heads to CEOs.
- How you can best approach that person to show him/her how your skills and knowledge of that field can help them achieve their goals and tackle their challenges. Gabe’s methods included informational interviewing, networking and more.
Job-seeker self-analysis: Success is in the math
Don’t go by me. The self-analysis approach is backed by years of career experts’ statistics, showing it to have about an 86% success rate. That means that 86 out of every 100 people to use it succeed not only in finding work, but really gratifying work that matches the talents and passions they have. Doing self-analysis works 12 times better than just sending out resumes. That’s a 1,200 percent better chance! Sure; 14 out of 100 will not find work this way alone. That’s still good odds, I’d say!
Job-seeker self-analysis: Where are the rewards?
Well, aside from the above statistics, there are 3 rewards:
- You can more precisely identify what you are looking for, beyond the elusive job titles. In this recession economy, job titles like “project manager” aren’t telling. You are not a project manager (or whatever). You are a person, who … You are a person who has these gifts and experiences.
- You can more precisely tell your family, friends and contacts what you’re looking for—in detail. Not “I’m out of work; tell me if you hear of anything out there.” But exactly what kind of work and in what kind of setting.
- You can more precisely sell your unique value proposition to employers. Even if 25 others with equal experience, credentials and skill sets compete with you; you’ll have your marketing and storytelling down pat.
Job-seeker self-analysis: What’s the catch?
If this approach is so great, why doesn’t everyone do it? It’s work. It’s a brainstorming type of work. It takes time; it takes thinking and digging. It’s not for a job seeker wanting an easy fix.
Job-seeker self-analysis: It’s in the details and focus
In my 25+ years of working with job seekers, those who have found great fits have been without question, almost always those who not only kept their sights on the target; but those who had a detailed picture of the target they were aiming for. If you are looking for meaningful work—not just a job title—don’t you owe it to yourself to work at finding that which is true to your vision and what you want to do in this life?
Do you have questions about this approach? I can help!
Photo: Beverly & Pack