When working with job seekers, I often hear something like this, “I want to be more like my friend, ___. He’s always getting contacted about good job opportunities. His career has been one great position after another.” Then, they sigh and talk about how easy the person makes it look. Finally, they start to discount the person’s success with statements like, “He got a lucky break when he worked at ___.” Or, “He’s kind of intense when it comes to networking.” They say anything they can to make themselves feel better.
You can imagine their surprise when I say,
“Your friend isn’t lucky. He’s figured out the two most important activities needed to be in control of your career.”
We’ve all heard the saying, “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” It’s true, but most people don’t know how to translate that to actionable advice for their career. Until now…
If American Idol host, Ryan Seacrest can do it, so can you!
A great example of someone who has figured the two steps to a killer career strategy, is Ryan Seacrest. He has six jobs right now. He’s mastered the process I’m about to share with you. It’s not rocket science or brain surgery. All it takes is this:
Step 1: Know what your workplace personas are. Companies hire people who can solve problems and alleviate pains. After all, it’s costing them an average of 130-140% of your annual salary to employ you. Your workplace personas are how you like to create value for an employer. It’s the way in which you excel at saving and/or making them money – enough money to justify the cost of employing you. There are eight key personas in the workplace. All of us dominate in 2-3 of them. When we know our workplace personas, we can choose opportunities that leverage them. This is how people build successful track records. They use the skills they most enjoy to do the job. A total win-win.
Step 2: Consistently educate people about your workplace personas. Once you know your workplace personas and start to build a successful track record with them, the next step is to learn how to share your success with others in a way that doesn’t sound like bragging. Smart professionals know this is done via strategic networking. When you have meaningful conversations with people about problems you love to solve for your employer and discuss how you do it, you’re organically marketing your skills and abilities. The more you do this (i.e. answer questions for people, offer free advice and assistance, share how your company overcame similar challenges with your help, etc.), the stronger your professional reputation becomes. At which point, when people hear about jobs that are open and problems employers need solved, their interactions with you come to mind – and the phone calls and emails start coming in with those coveted job opportunities.
Want the best jobs? Act like a business-of-one.
The most successful small businesses build their reputations and market their services. They’re known for delivering results, which leads to an increase in referrals. You’re a business-of-one, which is the smallest type of small business. That means, you have to be even more vigilant about building your reputation and marketing your services – or suffer the consequences. Gone are the days where you could just keep your head down, do a good job, and stay with a company for 30 years. Today, you need to always be growing your skills AND letting people know about your growth. Otherwise, you will find yourself at the mercy of the job market.
Stop envying your peers and start doing what it takes to be the in-demand professional you long to be known as. Especially, now that you know how to prepare so opportunity can find you!