When most people are looking to upgrade their career, they begin by tweaking their resume and then they head to the job boards or LinkedIn to check out the job postings. They apply to all the positions that look interesting…and then they wait.
Do you see any problems with this approach? Besides the fact that this is an entirely passive approach to your career advancement, the other issue most people don’t realize is the job description is rarely an accurate description of what a day on the job actually looks like.
By relying on the job description, you are leaving a lot up to chance on whether or not you are going to end up in a role and an environment where are set up for success. “A” Players do not rely on job descriptions to drive their career moves, but instead will go to the market to get the true picture of what the opportunities are.
They gather intel that not only helps them make better decisions in their career, but also helps them to have completely different conversations with hiring managers that separate them from their competition. In this video we break down why this is the case and how you can start to approach your career in the same way.
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Kevin: We’ve been covering what it looks like, and moreover kind of moving towards that ultimate outcome, which is finding work that you love and doing work that’s going to allow you to kind of shine and solve those problems that you get really excited about. As we’ve worked through what it’s going to feel like to get that, where some people are misstepping in terms of identifying what the real problem is, we get to the jumping off point.
A lot of people think the jumping off point is trying to find and target by job descriptions, and just applying online. I know that we’ve kind of boiled this down to three particular areas that we see there’s a problem around this, because the bigger area that you need to be honing in on is identifying where those problems exist that you can solve. Right?
Olivia: Absolutely. I think it’s all about creating the context that you can be successful in, so that’s what we’re going to be covering today.
Kevin: Let’s talk about the first one. You and I have been talking about this a good bit. The action. We eluded to it in the last video, the job versus the job description.
Olivia: Yep. This is a big one, because ultimately when it comes to job descriptions … We did cover this in the last video, but most managers don’t really have the time, or the skill to really to define the scope of a role, and really to be honest with themselves about what they really need. They like to talk about what they’d like and sometimes they’re really just not at the stage for that job, so a lot times what you read in the job description is nowhere near what reality is. Right, Kevin? I know you’ve seen this a lot with your past.
Kevin: No, it’s true. Again, I go back to that consultative approach. If you think about this way, to be perfectly blunt about it, if they knew exactly what needed to be solved it wouldn’t be a problem. The problem wouldn’t exist if they had the perfect fit, so that’s what they’re looking for. More, I guess more specifically and better phrased it’s this; it’s not a job description, it’s not a set of experiences, it’s your ability to deliver on a particular outcome. The problem with a job description is it rarely reads to that.
You’ve led number of people, I have, when we have certain problems with somebody performing in a role, or somebody who’d left and you need to replace them, and that’s what brings me to the job search, what is it that I’m saying when I hire this next person has to be done? What is it that’s missing now that’s keeping me up at night, that I’m thinking about when I go home, that’s making me aggravated with my wife and my kids, that is standing between me and a promotion, that my boss is constantly saying why is this still a problem? Again, you rarely see that in the job description. Sometimes people haven’t thought through it that well.
What’s great about this is when you incorporate this, when you ultimately get to an interview stage, and you incorporate this into that process of asking those questions, you got everybody over here who’s trying to respond to a job description, and you’re over here having a massively different conversation. There you’ve separated yourself. It’s not separating yourself on a piece of paper or on a LinkedIn profile, it’s through the conversation that you’re having and the experience that somebody has with you, which is enormous.
Olivia: Absolutely. When you start to have these conversation you’re almost creating the path and your own job for yourself. That’s where you can really can shine. Another thing I thing you touched on is being honest with yourself about is this the problem that you want to solve or are going to be good at solving. I think most people just skip the steps of really understanding what that’s going to look like, and if you set yourself up for failure it’s really tough to rebound from that.
Kevin: It’s like we talked about in the last video. If you don’t do that you run the risk of winding up in a job that isn’t what you thought it was going to be. This is where you can take ownership in this, because there’s an ebb and a flow to the interview process. If that person sitting across from you isn’t going to present you with the opportunities that you want … I know you and I talk about what do you want in a company, right? What do you want in this next position? Most people are very clear on what they’re moving away from, but not what they’re moving towards. If you don’t qualify about what you’re moving towards, you could be in the coolest company in the world, but they’re not going to have the opportunity for you to do the things that you really want to do. You’re going to be frustrated, you’re going to feel like you failed, and just like you talked about, now that lingering effect moves forward with you in your next role.
I know you’ve run into this with clients, I’ve run into it I can’t tell you how many times, that becomes the thing that now starts … That’s like the tail wagging the dog with people. Because it failed and it’s super palpable. Actually, I would say what’s worse is they didn’t actually fail. They have this kind of this false prophet that they’re serving, which is I failed, and it’s [inaudible 00:05:17] I’ve got to do well. No, where you failed was, you didn’t identify that what you really came in ere to do doesn’t exist as an opportunity. You were chasing something that didn’t exist. That was the point of failure, not the performance inside, because you were never going to succeed.
Olivia: Absolutely. That’s really the second point we see people messing up, is just not being clear on what they want. They’re very clear, like you said on what they don’t want. I think what ends up happening is you’re escaping from something, and you’re so eager to escape that you make the same mistake all over again.
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely.
Olivia: It comes down to not taking the time to being clear on what you want and what that looks like, and getting very specific. What that leads to is the third problem, which is applying to multiple jobs and really just kind of casting your net really wide. You think, oh, I’m keeping all my options on the table. Which sounds good in theory, but in practice it’s not good. Kevin, you know what that looks like from the inside, or the recruiters perspective, right?
Kevin: Yeah, so I will share from the perspective of having, like you guys know, having been a head hunter for a decade, and then also consulting I did with fortune 100 companies on talent acquisition. Here’s what it looks like when Kevin applies and checks off the boxes and applies to ten positions, inside those recruiters who you are expecting to be an advocate for you, right? This is what we’re looking for, we’re ultimately looking for advocacy because most hires are made, more than fifty percent of hires, I think it’s fifty-three, fifty-four percent based off of the studies I look at, are made as a result of someone advocating for you. Having someone who makes a recommendation or refers you in somewhere.
If you’re going to follow what the highest percentage success rate is and you do that, what you have told people is, I’m a jack of all trades. In an effort, like we just talked about a minute ago, to focus in on trying to pick a specific problem, first of all, you don’t know what the problem is, so you can’t speak to the problem. There’s no way that you can speak to the problem and speak to being a fit to twenty different positions. Inside that company, those recruiters kind of role their eyes every time they see your name. They don’t even advocate for you.
If you’re thinking that I’m just going more spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks, first of all I would ask you how’s that working? It’s not, I know the answer to the question before I ask it. That’s why it’s not working. Then you can kind of bundle in with this the fact that you’re trying to create an advocate in someone who can’t even hire you, which is the most counter intuitive part of this process. There are multiple failure points in this process. The bottom line is don’t do it. What have you seen as well?
Olivia: No, I agree. I think people take the path of least resistance, and what we’re asking them to do is something that’s very difficult. It’s taking the time to get really clear and specific about what outcome you want, and what problems you want to solve, in what context. Those are a lot of questions that are not easy to answer, and they can’t be answered alone by sitting behind your computer looking at job descriptions. That’s why I think this whole theme of the series that Kevin and I are doing is about doing what makes you uncomfortable and what others are not willing to do, and that’s what’s going to get you into the top ten or five percent in the job market and no longer position yourself as a commodity. That’s what this series is all about.
Kevin: This is where I’ll share what I think is really exciting about this and what Olivia has offered to do. Which is, she has a book that works through many of these steps and pretty much the framework that we’re going to walk through over the next few videos, and she has agreed to give it away free for the next five days starting on Monday. Plus we’ve gone through, through multiple calls, and come up with additional programs, and resources, and training that we’re going to bundle in on that. Here’s what I would say, you can see Olivia’s book, look up under Olivia Gamber. The title of the book again Olivia?
Olivia: The Career Upgrade Roadmap.
Kevin: Career Upgrade Roadmap. This is where you know that I’m not reading off a script, because I completely drew a blank. I apologize.
Olivia: That’s all right.
Kevin: You can go look at that, get an idea about the book. Don’t buy it now, because on Monday we’re going to send an email out and the doors will open for five days to be able to get that, plus a bunch of other bonuses, that are going to help accelerate everything that we’ve been talking about. If these videos are resonating; there’s more videos to come, there’s more in terms of the book, there’s more in terms of the other programs. What would say to you as well is if you’re not not receiving emails from us just use the link below, sign up at careerattraction.com and we’ll make sure that we get it in front of you come Monday.
Olivia: Yep, excited.
All right, cool. Thanks.