Implementing Your Personal Market Plan: Part II

by Maher, Bob Thursday, December 04, 2008
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Your Career Transition Voyage

Both physical fitness and CAREER FITness are gifts that you can give yourself at any time. Your FIT in the market doesn’t change relative to time of the year or market conditions...

Understand the nature of FIT.
You understand that managing your own career involves three key ingredients:

1. Confidence in knowing that your career is on the right path and moving forward
2. Continuous research and networking lead to awareness of potential "next steps"
3. Competency with job-changing skills

What is a Good, Career FIT For You?

To achieve a good "fit" between you and any future opportunity, you have to ask yourself some basic questions about yourself and your prospective employers. The fit depends on how well the jobs meets your needs and how well your skills and abilities meet the employer’s needs. The employer will make a decision and extend an offer to you: now it is time for you to make your decision.

Write out the factors that are important to you in a job...actually write out your list. During your career transition, learn the value of setting your offer criteria, a key element of your Personal Market Plan:

1. Creates an objective target for your efforts ahead
2. Gives you a meaningful set of questions to ask during research and networking
3. Provides an objective way to analyze and react to offers as they occur.

And, what about YOU?

SELF-ASSESSMENT of your skill sets, knowledge, experience—as well as the softer measures of who you are -- will determine your communication strategies for marketing yourself efficiently. In order to be visible to those who can hire you, to stand out in the crowd, you will position and target yourself specifically and clearly when setting your career objectives.
>> MORE on CAREER FITness

WAYPOINTS To Your Personal Market Plan Implementation

Knowing yourself and knowing the marketplace is what its all about. ASSESSMENT is the starting point for your journey. You must assess your strengths and determine and SET YOUR CAREER OBJECTIVES. For the rest of your career, you should always be aware of “next steps.” You should always be working on appropriate positioning and targeting your efforts to achieve CAREER FITness, a worthy goal.

Having set your course through assessment and analysis, you are now ready to reflect your “communication strategy” through GREAT collaterals—keeping your RESUME DEVELOPMENT in synch with your verbal collaterals.

When you’ve created a good draft, you’re ready to COACH YOUR REFERENCES with it, asking their suggestions on “anything you might have missed” – all the while putting them in a position to support your communication strategies.

At this point, you have “market tested” your resume template. To be prepared for the diverse correspondence needs of an active “campaign,” create your CORRESPONDENCE TEMPLATES at this point. While you’re doing this task, you should begin (continue) to CONDUCT INITIAL RESEARCH to determine potential employers and trends that may reveal opportunity...Success is where preparation meets opportunity!

You’re almost ready to launch into an effective career transition “journey.” There are two sets of directions (charts) that will guide you. First, pull together your unscreened, PERSONAL CONTACT LIST of people you know and/or can easily reach out to. Second, begin to compile your TARGET ORGANIZATION LIST, those employers that are attractive to you or may be interested in securing your services.

Your first mission is to simply get the word out of your situation: highly qualified, available, and motivated to perform the work that you have positioned yourself in...seeking leads into targeted organizations that need your services. THIS initial mission does not include applying for a specific JOB. Take that word JOB right out of your vocabulary for awhile.

KEY NOTE: Premature use of the word JOB forces the marketplace to judge you before they know you...actually creating the rejection you want to avoid...why do that?

Your initial personal contact networking will identify a wide range (in quality and FIT) of potential job leads. Analyze each to determine the value of your time and effort in securing actual job interviews. Also, keep your better contacts “in the loop,” following up with them periodically to extend your network. EVERY CONTACT IS A REFERRAL SOURCE! Any and all conversations should close with your networking theme...“WHO else or WHERE else might I go for this sort of help and advice?”

Turning qualified job leads into actual job interviews represents the “challenging waters” of any career transition. To this point, your journey has been a very linear, controllable journey that can be planned out and executed efficiently. NOW it’s time to get to work!

In active JOB search mode, you will want to blend tactics to address both job markets, seeking the returned “control” of predictable job interview process which results in offers and your next employment. Target organization networking will blend with your developing personal contact network to generate leads, gain valuable information, and secure actual interview activity.

KEY NOTE: Adopt a high tech-high touch approach to the “challenging waters” of career transition. Use technology to leverage your time and effort, manage your activities, and conduct necessary research to guide you toward a successful LANDING.

Considering the use of a skilled and experienced pilot to assist you through the “challenging waters?” Consider the Careerpilot. >> MORE