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How to Turn a Job Search into a Career Find

The only way to find a new career is to stop looking for a job Career success requires the identical effort and targeting as setting a course for continuous professional development.

Job opportunities are found through the strategic use of the same steering mechanism that successfully sells products and services: Positioning, Exposure and Marketing.

Seek employers needing solutions to their problems Change your career search strategy from hastily blasting resumes extolling your attributes to more thoughtfully approaching an employer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal. By doing so, you'll leverage your competitive advantage. You'll then always invest your energies where you can obtain the highest return of time and energy because your initiatives will have a target or an "intensity of purpose."

Hot career tip: Deliberately design your career management campaign for success.

There are nine angles to engineer a successful marketing strategy in a competitive hunt and each brings focus and clarity. These benchmarks more effectively drive a career transition because they concentrate on identifying problems, differentiating solutions and maximizing exposure to career resources.

POSITIONING

?Position yourself as a consultant rather than a salesperson regardless of your field. Do this first in your own mind and then in the mind of your "customer," the targeted employer.

?Be a Problem Detective. Approach each employer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal. Describe what you can do, not who you are.

?Analyze the benefits you will provide an employer from the employer's point of view then define the nature of your contribution as it relates to his or her need.

EXPOSURE

?Keep your "sales" pipeline full by continually prospecting for targeted employers. Always have more people to see than you have time to seem them, but put off calling on low-value, low-probability prospects.

?Maximize your exposure-to-opportunity by using multiple strategies simultaneously. Increase your likelihood of career success by increasing the number of your activities.

?Look upon your career marketing territory as a farmer looks upon a rich piece of land; like an area to be harvested, week after week.

MARKETING

?Don't lose sight of your primary goal: to sell your skills as a specific personalized solution to an identified employer need.

?Think of yourself as a resource to yourself and to prospective employers. Products are sold by quantifying the net dollar benefit to your customer of using your talents.

?Differentiate what you offer. Define its distinctiveness and bring the entire decision to hire you to hang on this key benefit.

Finding a great career position is no accident A career move must be deliberate and strategic. You must master proven product sales techniques meshed with relentless subterranean market research and analysis to find your best career.

Your success in turning a job search into a career find will be in direct proportion to what you do after you do what you are expected to do. Be absolutely clear about what you want, why you want it, when you want it and what you are willing to do to get it.

Let your "inner hamster" escape off the mindless track of a career pursuit without purpose. Regain control of your job search. Grab the key out of the cage you've put yourself in by using the distinct marketing concepts of Positioning, Exposure and Marketing.

Marta Driesslein, CECC (http://www.interviewing.com) is a management consultant for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc. For over 24 years R.L. Stevens & Associates has been the Nation's most successful privately-held firm, specializing in executive career searches generating quality interviews through both advertised and unadvertised channels.

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