Homework for beginning a new occupation or industry job search.
Most “job search experts” will tell you that looking for a new job is a task that requires you to be actively and aggressively involved in each minute detail. Job searching is an undertaking that requires one to hit the pavement, make the brow sweat, and leaves one exhausted at the end of the day.
Well, okay…sure…why not?
The truth is a good job search cannot begin until some good soul-searching, contemplation, and reflection have occurred. Especially when you are considering a new position, or new industry, and rebranding your skill set is necessary–this “alone time” is critical.
It’s actually quite an existential process…contemplating skill sets…explaining what one does concisely and in a language others not necessarily in your former target industry would understand…understanding yourself and what you do. This requires less bustle and definitely some hustle…but, it’s brain work.
If you are thinking about a new occupation or a new industry, you must rebrand. Rebranding is looking at your current skills and reshaping and defining them for your new industry. Teachers who work with children may then become “dynamic group leaders comfortable with directing unruly clientele.” Get it?
So, to get there, I recommend the armchair. Sit back, relax, and close your eyes. Then, simply think about what you do in your current or most recent job(s). Ask these questions:
• What are those daily activities you do that are essential to business operations?
• What are the things you do well?
• What are the things in which you specialize?
• Can you bullet point 5 items that tell me as much about your job as possible? (Can you keep each bullet point to one line?)
• What software or machinery do you use?
• Name as many acronyms that you use daily? (for example, one business uses CSC, which refers to Customer Service Center) – why are these acronyms relevant to you and your job? (i.e., “I work in the CSC” or “I manage a team of 11 in the CSC”)
Now, WAKE UP!
Write down your thoughts on your skills…the focus is, what do you do and what do you do well?
Now, using a job description as a guide, think about a position you want. What are the duties involved in this job? (You can cheat and read the job description.)
Finally, compare…what is on your current skills list that transfers directly to the list of skills in the wanted position. Specifically, if your desired job is looking for someone with Excel experience and you have done this in your current job, that’s a directly transferable skill.
After that, look for rebranding opportunities. Does the new job need someone with event planning experience? Maybe you were in charge of travel and meeting organization in an office environment. Can you setup venues from site selection to event implementation? Then, you have event planning experience.
You may have to wordsmith to make the job skill words match the new industry. You definitely shouldn’t “stretch” a skill set to match (i.e., setting up pitchers of water for a small meeting is not event planning). But, if you feel you’ve worked extensively in an area but maybe never identified that skill as described in the new industry, this is an opportunity to rebrand!
The best part of thinking about rebranding is that it involves you, in your comfort zone, with a clear mind and maybe a pencil and paper. So, sit back in a comfortable armchair and get ready to begin your job search…from the comfort of your living room.
Danny Zendejas is the Senior Business Consultant specializing in the Education Industry for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.