Here you are, trying to get a job. You knock on a door of yet another company you are interested in. You hope they open that door. You hope you are good enough for them to invite you in. You hope they pick you from the crowd that gathered around this opportunity. The process is often frustrating, discouraging, maybe even humiliating.
If you really want to stand out in the crowd, you have to think of yourself as a company. You are your company! I’m not talking about getting a business license and becoming an entrepreneur. No matter who gives you a paycheck, you are ultimately running your own company – YOU.
This is how you can operate as a company when looking for a job:
- Know what you can and want to do.
First, look at the future you’d like to create for yourself – in what ways do you want to grow your brand? Then look at the present – what can you offer now that can be valued in places where you can gain the desired skills and knowledge? And only then look at your past – how can you position your experience (resume, LinkedIn) to prove this value?
- Explore the possibilities of collaboration.
“Hey, I’m into X, you are into Y, let’s see what we can do together.” It’s about creating a mutual benefit. What can you do together that allows both companies to grow? Don’t wait for someone else to create an opening that matches your skills. Be proactive. Connect to people who are related to areas that interest you. Get curious about the possibilities that would get you both excited. Enough of job searching; let’s do some job creating!
- Learn as you go and adjust.
Reflect after each interaction – What did you learn about the needs out there? What did you learn about the value of your past experiences? Maybe you need to highlight different skills to be seen as valuable. Maybe you can explore areas you didn’t know about before. How can you tweak your plan?
By the way, you may see your company as kind of small and fragile in comparison to that company you’d love to work with. Well, I would argue that your company is way stronger than theirs. If all the people leave that other company to do something else, there would be no company. But you will never quit your company. You will never fire yourself. Your company will always be there, you can count on it!
Henrieta Riesco is a founder of Intentional Career. As a Career Coach, she collaborates with students and business professionals on creating a fulfilling career. Her brand-building journey took her from being a teacher and a corporate trainer in Slovakia to the US where she spent 10+ years working at Microsoft as a customer advocate and a training consultant. You can follow Henrieta via Twitter, or Facebook.