A job seeker must be visible and distinctive in the talent market. As we discussed last time, merely doing an excellent job, but not being seen on the market is a career killer.
I love food: planning it; making it and, most of all, enjoying it. The best analogy I can lay hands on to describe the decisions a job seeker must make in putting together a career marketing plan is the process of deciding what will go into a salad.
In a career marketing mix salad, just as in a Caesar or a garden salad, the correct proportions of the appropriate, selected ingredients must be combined in one bowl. In this case, the “bowl” is the “Marketing Plan”. One thing job seekers do is imbibe lordly amounts of information. We job seekers read and read and read. All the information gleaned from gathering so much information muddles the head after a while. There is so much to sort; so much to synthesize into something useful; so much garbage to wade through. Personally, I have found laying out all the ingredients in a form similar to the collage above left helpful in figuring out which ingredients in what proportions need to go into the mix.
Along the way, I found out that sometimes, my “mix” needs to be rebalanced for effectiveness. If I presented a dish at a party that nobody touched, I would conclude by the end of the night that the dish must have been unpalatable to my guests in some way. I would do well to remember that next time.
In earlier discussions, I have said that the job search can be seen as a game and a battle. It can also be seen as a party where the seeker is the host(ess). If a job search has gone on for over 90 days without an interview, it might be reasonable to suspect that some part of the marketing mix is not working. The task becomes to tweak the mix until it becomes palatable to potential employers. For me, it lets the air out of looking at things that can go wrong with a job search as a personal negative value judgement.
It is not a personal judgement, just a part of planning and throwing a party.
Oh, yes. Don’t forget the salad dressing!