I'm using this post to demonstrate how you can use your morning newspaper as a guide toward your "next big thing." Your newspaper doesn't have to be delivered to your door or purchased from a street-corner; online news will also help you accomplish the goal.
It is fair to say that we accept the need to demonstrate that we are current in our field, that we understand how events in the world affect our
industry, and that we offer a unique value to a prospective employer. While the thought process that I'm going to suggest isn't new, it seems that job seekers have abandoned the news and therefore, removed themselves from current information that can inform their unique value proposition and brand… An example:
Many of my current clients are looking for B2B, marketing, or communications opportunities in industries with staying power in the Greater Philadelphia area, including Allentown, Princeton, and Wilmington. So, to become familiar with the major industries in the area and keep abreast with what's happening with innovative ideas, products, services, and key people, these clients check-out:
- The Philadelphia Inquirer Business section, published daily, (best for job seekers is Monday)
- The Philadelphia Business Journal – published weekly
Monday's Inquirer featured an article about competition between regional health insurers, principally Capital and Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Sheild, as well as their non-Blue competitors, Aetna and Valley Preferred. Public regulators are holding hearings to evaluate the wisdom of a Blue merger, and the writer offers a very informative history of the business of health insurance in the corporate arena. This is a very large and profitable industry;
opportunities exist in a multitude of roles, including executive
management, sales, IT, finance, marketing communications, etc. To
paraphrase JFK's 1960 inaugural address: think not about
what Blue can do for you; think of what you can do for Blue, or any other company of interest…
- Take a few moments to look at the About Us page of the company web site; this page will lead you to think of the possibilities you might create or fulfill based on what you offer. The Jobs or Careers page reveals what is available now; while it is possible that you might find the perfect job, it is unlikely.
- Once you determine your genuine interest, dare I say, "passion," then start looking for connections – people who can help you gain access and information about the company to better determine what you can do for them. These connections can be found in the weekly "People In the News," in the body of news articles, through company web sites, through online networking sites, and in the office next-door to yours…
- Perform a SWOT analysis on the company; learn about the company's competition; develop a few proposals.
- Practice listening to understand how you can meet their needs, both those that are stated and those you'll intuit based on your research.
- Prepare targeted marketing materials – resume or profile, letters,
e-mails, 30-60-second commercial, exit summary, etc. The operative
word is "targeted;" the operative perspective is WIIFTHM – What's in it for them…
A client meeting last evening led me to the March 21-27 issue of the Business Journal that featured Gamesa, a Spanish wind turbine maker whose US manufacturing facility has filled a large part of the space once occupied by the US Steel Fairless Works. This firm will employ 115 at its Center City headquarters office, and has leased 3x more office space than it previously held. So why should job seekers care? The alternative energy industry offers an excellent opportunity for those who are good communicators and also comfortable with science and technology. Moreover, it may be an excellent alternative to industries that are more likely to be adversely affected by the economy, e.g. housing, construction, pharmaceutical.
While sipping your coffee, try these 5 clues to discover what you'll be when you grow up, or where you'll find your next big gig…Posted by Karen P. Katz | 2 comments