The previous two blog entries presented the first two in a four-step process for finding a new job. The first entry challenged you to pretend that your life – and the lives of those dearest to you – depended on finding a new job. Literally. The goal was to get you into the mindset you would have if this really happened to you.
Step two showed you how to create messages that communicate your value in ways that an employer would take notice.
Now you are ready for step three...
Step Three: Think like a consultant. Consultants make marketing their top priority. They are very effective at three types of marketing in particular, and you need to become experts here, too. The first is in getting referrals. They are pros when it comes to telling people about the value they provide, and then educating them about the types of people they want to meet. They also know how to help other people, by making introductions for them and helping them in other ways to advance their careers. You need to be willing to tell everyone you know about the value you provide, and then explicitly ask people who they know who might be looking for that value. Don’t be shy; your life depends on making direct requests!
Second, consultants get visible by establishing themselves as experts. They write articles, speak, set up blogs, post videos of them speaking, get active in their industry associations, start online groups, and even do simple research projects. All of these things establish their credibility and prove that they are thinking about, and can solve, the most pressing problems the people in their target market face. I don’t care if you are at the lowest level of a company. You can still do some sort of educational marketing to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Third, consultants are early adopters of social media. They know every feature of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, BlogTalkRadio, YouTube, and question and answer sites – and they know how to use these technologies to meet new people and get introductions. I don’t care if you think you are too old! Your life depends on learning these technologies.
Interestingly, if you take this exercise seriously, you might even end up getting consulting offers, which could launch your career in a very different, exciting direction. Personally, I prefer being a consultant than an employee. As a consultant, I have dozens of clients; if I lose one, I only lose a small portion of my income. Plus, as a consultant I am constantly marketing, and so landing a new opportunity is not such a huge deal. For the purposes of this exercise, you are seeking a full-time job offer. However, in the real world, be flexible and agile, ready to turn someone’s interest in you into any form of assignment you can get!
Once you have the right mindset, messages that communicate your value, and you are thinking like a consultant, you are ready for the fourth and final step, coming next...
Andrew Neitlich is the co-author, with Jay Conrad Levinson, of Guerrilla Marketing for a Bulletproof Career, a book that reveals the secrets to career success in perpetually gut-wrenching times. For more information, and for additional articles, visit www.bulletproofcareer.com. He also runs the Center for Career Coaching, which trains career coaches.