If you’ve ever owned–or worked for–a small business, you know how critical it is to get the word out to your prospective customers about the value you can bring to them. In all probability, no one is going to do this for you.
Now switch gears and look at yourself as a job seeker who wants to land a great new job. Effective career management requires viewing yourself as a small business that needs to attract customers–or, in this case, potential employers. What do you need to know and do in order to pull that off?
Get into the mindset of “I’m a small business and I need customers.” For fun, I took a look at WikiHow and found some tips on starting a small business that could be translated into steps for managing your career and, in particular, conducting an effective job search. Here are the basic steps WikiHow’s article recommends:
As simplistic as the small-business steps above might seem, they can apply just as well to a higher-level job search. Yes, you’re looking at a different kind of challenge–more competition for the “sweet spots,” significantly stronger skills and experience expected, perhaps some tougher obstacles to overcome in those kinds of jobs. That doesn’t mean everything about a job search is totally different at your level. Some principles still hold true. For example:
Most small businesses want to grow over time, and the same applies to your career management and job search activities. Growth at any level should probably always be a part of the mix. It’s hard to maintain a healthy “small business” if you’re standing still or treading water. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, though; you might want to remember that growth isn’t always about size–or about whatever rung on the ladder you have reached. It’s a lot about what suits you.