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Don’t Find A Job, Find A Job-Guide
September 22nd, 2010 by Robert Moskowitz  Posted in Job Search, Most Popular

Female student with applicationWith unemployment rates at alarming levels and business headlines screaming bad news about the economy, finding a job takes a little more creativity than it did when all you had to do was present yourself at the doorstep of companies looking to increase their employment rolls.

In fact, today it’s probably counter-productive to go after job opportunities that are easy to find, because scores of other candidates have found those job opportunities as well, and the competition for each opening will be fierce. To an outsider, it looks like children under five playing soccer: they abandon their designated field positions and form a crowd chasing the ball from one place to another.

Today it makes more sense to stop chasing the ball by following advertised job opportunities, and instead to develop a “personal guide to jobs” that will help you locate wide-open employment opportunities that most other job-seekers will never see. When you present yourself for one of these job opportunities, you’ll have relatively little — if any — competition.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Assess your skills and abilities, and decide what makes you most desirable to potential employees. Forget factors like “I’ll work cheap!” and focus instead on strengths like your special skills, special knowledge, special experience, or special abilities that relatively few other job seekers can match. If you don’t have any of these, start thinking about acquiring some (via education, apprenticeship, pro-bono volunteering, and similar means).

2) Consider what industries, organizations, departments, and specific situations might be most in need of your personal strengths. Think in two directions: In the past, what situations gave you opportunities to perform at your best and deliver great value to your employer? In the future, what emerging situations are likely to offer the same kind of opportunities for you to excel?

3) As best you can, identify the specific organizations, departments, and internal working groups where your strengths are most likely to be needed and appreciated. To help you do this, look into the publicly announced activities and plans of likely organizations. Use your network of contacts and your research skills to dig into the details of what each organization is doing now, and what it’s planning to do in the future.

4) Based on what you learn, and what you know about how organizations operate, make inferences as to the most likely future activities, opportunities, and problems within each organization. Where can you best fit in?

All this information boils down to a “personal job hunting guide” that provides a road map on which you can locate specific places in specific organizations where you are most likely to be wanted, appreciated, and hired. Present yourself there, and see how much smoother and shorter the path to employment can be.

As the Great Wayne Gretzky said: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
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