Looking for a Job? — Start by Looking for a Problem

January 31, 2013

ID-100127602You may not get this advice from a job-search coach, but ideally, you should not be looking for a job. Instead, consider looking for problems to solve and letting the jobs come to you.

Looking for a problem to solve instead of looking for a job requires you to identify skills you plan to use in your next opportunity and outline your accomplishments. If you stop searching for a job and start paying attention to what you have to offer, you’ll have more control over your job search.

This proactive approach forces you to network and interact with a variety of people, as well as research problems facing organizations that require your expertise. Identify thought leaders in your field and figure out how to join their conversations. One good way to do this is to read blogs about your industry. Be mindful, however, that although you can do a lot of research via your computer and social networks, you need to combine online strategies with in-person networking.

If you manage your career well, enough people will know about you and your skills that you’ll never have to look for a job. Instead, jobs will find their way to you. Sound crazy? The hidden job market, or unadvertised jobs, represents the majority of positions filled. If you use today’s social media tools and have the expertise to back it up, it’s possible to generate buzz about yourself.

The key to creating a “personal brand” and attracting opportunities is making connections with others in your field. Magnetically drawing jobs to you requires legwork on the front end. That’s why it’s a good idea to start building buzz around you and what you offer before looking for an opportunity. And it’s never too late to start.

First steps to successfully using this approach:

• Create a completely filled-out LinkedIn profile and grow your network there.

• Open a professional Twitter account so you can connect with thought leaders in your field and tweet useful information and advice to your colleagues.

• Author a professional blog to demonstrate your expertise and improve your ranking on Google.

The personal brand approach is Career Management 101, and it’s not so different from advice years ago to build a network to land a job. The only difference is you will be propagating it to an extended and potentially worldwide network rather than only sharing your accomplishments, ideas, and suggestions with your close friends and family members.

This post brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Alabama.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook!

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/chainat

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