The Flipside of Job Search Strategies

Whether your job search is continuing from last year; you are looking to make a move onward or upward; or you're a new grad just starting out, January is a good time to take a look at old strategies with a new lens and think outside the box to land your new gig.

Here are a few ways to flip standard advice into a fresh approach:

1. The flipside of “be goal specific and strategic in your search” is:

Broaden your horizons and see where the demand is

You’ve probably been advised to laser focus on your goals, and it's true that to achieve a goal you first need to set one. But if you ignore market signals, feedback, and cues on the macro or micro level, you could be missing opportunities to tailor your approach, or re-calibrate a goal towards an area where there may be more demand. Take the time to read the tea leaves. You could be missing roles that companies have difficulty filling. 

2. The flipside of “network, network, NETWORK!” is:

Learn How You Can Help Others In Your Existing Network

While enlarging your professional network never hurts, chances are you probably already have a few people in your current network that can help you get ahead. It’s these ‘alpha’ contacts who know you best that you need to work on cultivating. Whether it’s invitations to industry-oriented events, introducing them to others in your sphere, or sharing relevant resources, when you “give to get” you are far more likely to reap benefits from those relationships.

3. The flipside of “you need a mentor to get ahead ” is:

Focus on your skills, talents, and relationships to make yourself more valuable

Busy and important people don’t always have time to be unpaid career coaches; in today’s ever changing job market we all need to be flexible about finding advisors who can provide insight and guidance and be an informal sounding board. To start, focus on your current job performance: make sure you’re fulfilling every aspect of your job description and going above and beyond when possible. Then communicate your interest in the bigger picture to those you report to and see if they will share leadership’s vision. You will gain valuable insights about how your company works, and might even develop a relationship with someone who literally has control over your career.

4. The flipside of “build your personal brand” is:

Focus on your expertise in your field

It’s easy to get fixated on making your online presence as polished (and popular) as possible. But unless your job title is social media marketer, a more important goal should be to build your expertise in the area ­you work in. Building your knowledge, experience, and reputation as a recognized expert will positively impact the work you do, build your sphere of influence, and propel your career growth. Remember: it’s who you know and what you know. Keep learning on the job. 

5. The flipside of “put yourself out there” is:

Find situations that showcase your strengths

January is a great time to check in with your motivations, interests, and innate talents. Where in your workday do you really shine: what are you doing, with whom, and where are you when you are most engaged? Reflecting on this can focus your attention on what you should be doing more of, and what key skills and talents you can be showcasing to move ahead in your career in a way that brings you satisfaction and fulfillment.

Don't blindly accept the idea that success is the biggest job or a power position with the biggest salary. Identifying your talents and developing them into strengths will allow you to enjoy consistent performance and continued success.

Fran Berrick