Without question, one of the greatest obstacles to the success of many job seekers is their inability to deliver a focused, context-rich message about their career goals. Whether due to the desire to avoid “limiting themselves” or a degree of internal confusion around their ideal direction, many well-meaning professionals expend a tremendous amount of energy in the job search, but experience poor results, simply because they’re casting too broad of a net and trying to be “all things to all people”.
As most of you know, one of our specialties at Career Horizons is the ability to help individuals diagnose their current level of career focus and to take the appropriate steps to sharpen it, if necessary. While this is a fairly intensive and creative process, however, we’d offer you a few simple questions you can ask yourself right now to evaluate whether your search focus is as precise as it likely needs to be:
• Can you name the specific hiring manager, at a specific organization, you most want to meet?
• Are you confident enough in your “sales pitch” to pay $100 to obtain an audience with this person?
• If you were granted 10 uninterrupted minutes with this individual, would you know what to say?
• Can you identify the three specific business problems you’re most excited to solve for an employer?
• If you surveyed people in your network, could they clearly articulate your career targets back to you?
These are just a few quick litmus tests you can ponder to gauge whether you’re being targeted enough in your ongoing search efforts — and obviously, a “yes” answer to these questions becomes more imperative the farther you’re trying to position yourself up the corporate ladder.
If you didn’t have any problems responding affirmatively to the questions above, the odds are that you’re in pretty good shape and that success is just a matter of time — assuming you’re hunting for a position that actually exists and that you have the credentials and qualifications to match. If you had some trouble answering the above questions, on the other hand, that’s a likely indication that you’re being a bit too generalized in your re-employment campaign — and that your network might be highly confused about your goals and at major disadvantage in providing useful assistance.