I’m in a unique position where I straddle a few different roles. My role as Chief Community Officer for JobAngels puts me in contact with jobseekers around the world who need help finding work. But this is currently a part-time, voluntary role so I’m also seeking work myself. I’ve chosen to put myself out there through Gravit8 and offer services to help organizations build communities and think about their customer relationships differently. As a starting point, I laid out what types of work I’m open to on my Hiring Chris page: www.gravit8.com/about-gravit8/hiring-chris/.
If you’re out there and looking for work, think creatively about your options. You don’t have to go down the same path (I fully understand it may not work for everyone), but if you’re looking for just a full-time job you might be missing opportunities. To this point, read Connie Bensen’s latest post: Reinvent to Find New Opportunities (I’d like to think that I inspired bullet #3). But the truly juicy nugget is bullet #4:
Put yourself out there. There are many seeking jobs. You need to TELL potential employers that you’re interested & how you can contribute to their business objectives. How do you know who the potential employers are? Look around because they’re everywhere. Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn make it easier than ever to connect with everyone at a company no matter their position. (Tip for LinkedIn – if you don’t know someone’s email address, use Groups & select one that you belong to. Add a note as to why you want to connect.) This is the time to stand out from the crowd. Make your success happen.
I’ve learned through my own experience and experiences of others that waiting for others to make the magic happen for you isn’t a gameplan for success. I won’t lie…putting yourself out there takes courage. I still struggle with it at times. But here are a few strategies I use which have been successful:
Know what makes you unique. Don’t think one singular talent or skill, but think cumulative. For me, it’s my combined background in association membership development, experience working with clients on developing actionable websites, in-depth knowledge of social media and growing expertise in business anthropology. See how each of these particular elements add to create something special? It’s the same for you.
Know how your unique professional self can help an organization solve a problem. One sure way to distance yourself from the jobhunting pack is to not think about employment from your own perspective, but approach from an employer’s perspective. Think how you can help take away a pain felt by a prospective employer. Your reputation for being indispensable begins with tackling problems that clear the way toward increased sales or reduced costs.
Know there is strength in partnerships. If you’re open to the idea of being flexible and pursuing contract or consulting work, realize you don’t have to go it alone. Find other agencies or consultants who could benefit from your unique services and pitch the possibility of collaboration. Just remember the first two points above also apply here: know what makes you unique and how you can help them solve a client problem.
Don’t sit around waiting for magic to happen. Realize that you do have something unique to offer either an employer or a partner. Think about what that might be and then go get it. And let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you.