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What’s the #1 mistake that I see executive job seekers make, over and over again?
They get too caught up in their own needs. They think about themselves. They get caught up in what they can get from an employer – without giving much thought to what they’re able to offer.
In doing so, they curb their ability to make smart, holistic decisions that lead to long-term, sustained results.
A self-centered mindset leads us to making decisions that, in the end, don’t serve us well. By thinking mostly about ourselves we end up undermining mostly ourselves, too.
Well, executive job search is, at its core, an exercise in relationship building. As such, it calls upon you to consider the needs of key stakeholders.
Moreover, it requires you to create and execute a relationship-building strategy that results in a “win-win” scenario. You need to find a company that is experiencing a pain point that you’re well-positioned to solve. Then you need to sell yourself into that role.
Ironically, by making a strong effort to understand your potential employers’ challenges and pain points, you’ll equip yourself with data points that will serve your own goals.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you’re looking for a role in IT. You could begin by spending hours of every day on Seek or LinkedIn, applying for relevant and, perhaps, not-so-relevant roles to your ideal next step. After all, you need to get a job, right?
Yes, but there’s a better approach.
You could begin your job search by visiting CIO.com – a destination for senior IT executives who make hiring decisions about people like you.
A morning spent browsing CIO.com will provide you with sharp insights about the job search landscape that you’re about to walk into.
- AI Architecture / Machine Learning /RPA
- Cloud Architecture
- Data Science / Analytics
- Business Intelligence Analysis
DevOps/DevSecOps/agile processes, design thinking and IOT are also highlighted as rising hiring challenges for the year ahead.
This level of insight can help you think more strategically about your job search:
- Maybe you were about to start applying as a generalist, but this insight helped you see yourself as a specialist?
- Maybe you have a strong track record in one of the hot skills above, and should pitch yourself specifically into one of these in-demand roles? (you’ll need to make sure that your resume and LinkedIn are angled in your chosen direction – have you considered hiring a professional resume writer to help you with this?).
- Maybe you should put your job search on hold while you upskill?
- Maybe your next career move should remain unchanged, but your long-term vision of your career needs to change?
I’ve provided an example aimed directly at IT professionals, but the same logic applies to project managers, communications professionals and finance geeks.
The rule is simple – before starting your job search, make a real effort to understand the problems of your potential employer better than you understand your own.