Thursday, November 13, 2008

You, Inc.

I went to a meeting at outplacement yesterday and listened to a speaker give another perspective on the job search. He started by comparing today's world of work with what it had been like in years past. His basic premise is that you should act like a consultant in your job, whether you are an employee or not. This is solid advice for someone like me who tends to become complacent after a year or two in a job. Acting like a consultant means:

  • Having a customer focus (the customer being the company you are at as well as the external customer).
  • Always looking for the next assignment
  • Always trying to demonstrate value
  • Being a problem solver

To set up your consulting firm (You, Inc.), he suggested 6 steps which are roughly similar to the 10 step process that the outplacement firm has taught us:

  • Define your products and services. What are your strengths, and knowledge? Define your Brand (i.e. Tiffany's, MacDonalds). To do this, make a list of 10 to 15 words that define you.
  • Prepare good written material to present "You, Inc." to the customer. Things like a resume, cover letters, value proposition, business card.
  • Develop your marketing plan. Choose your target industries, companies, and positions.
  • Advertise - contact search firms, use the Internet, network.
  • Make sales calls - find out what "pain" the company is experiencing and how you might be the solution to the pain. This is also accomplished using networking.
  • Make the sale - find the job, negotiate your position and price

Good advice. I've accomplished a bunch of these steps already. It's time to incorporate and to do a better job of selling.

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