Getting your game plan together

I will be presenting to the Career transition group in Brentwood, TN on Monday December 3 at the Brentwood United Methodist Church on this topic.  Let’s take a look at a few of the key points I will touch on Monday evening.

No successful team enters a big game without a plan for the event and you should have the same philosophy when you consider your job search.  Rather than thinking “run or pass” you will have several other options to consider.  My time today will be spent touching a few of these key strategic items prior to the kickoff or second half of your job search.

If you are are smart you will conduct your job search like a team from the SEC, the Southeastern Conference.  In this league we only consider excellence and we also focus on the value of long-term achievement. (enough for the SEC bias-let’s move onSmile)

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Here are some of the key items of your game plan:

  1. What type of role am I pursuing?
  2. Which firms would I like to work for?
  3. Where would I like to work, geographically?
  4. What are my most important factors?

Let’s spend a few moments on each of these

  1. You might be surprised how often I get a resume from someone who is just “looking for a job”.  It boggles my mind that someone would blindly send a resume to me without fully considering what they want to do as well as several other factors.  Never, never engage in a job search process without first exploring what you want to do.  I do not mean you have to focus on one or two specific roles or job titles, but at least have a general idea of what you will, or will not do.  If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.
  2. Once you know what you want to do you can then migrate to which firms you might do this for.  In some cases it might make sense to start with this step, but in most cases this will be the second step.  Some people are not cut out for certain firms and the whole process of identifying a firm helps the job seeker understand why one firm might work while another will not.  Take the necessary time to do this step or your next job might end up being a shorter stint than you had hoped for.
  3. Geographical flexibility, or the lack of such, is one of the biggest hurdles that job seekers and hiring firms have to deal with.  This becomes a greater issue in mid to senior level roles, but is less of an issue at the entry and C level.  You might scratch your head at that last statement, but most entry level roles have little relocation assistance involved, so the job seeker might just have to jump at anything available.  At the C-level the expectation is that you will move when the opportunity arises and this is even migrated down to the mid-level in many firms if you want to advance.  Firms need to be more flexible in where people work now due to the economic challenges in selling homes and job seekers need to be more flexible because there may not be as many opportunities in certain types of roles.  Doing a good job on #1 and #2 shown above will make this step more palatable.
  4. No job seeker, or most job seekers will not get everything they are looking for.  As a result you need to know what you will or will not flex on when the offer comes.  If you don’t have this hierarchy prepared you will find the decision to be challenging and stressful and you may even make a mistake by accepting or declining an officer.

Four simple steps that can get your game plan in order.

You may not end up as successful as an SEC football team, but having a good game plan in place can make all of the difference.

Have fun and Play Ball!