Monday, August 31, 2009

Are you stuffed in a bus or driving a Porsche?

Saving the planet aside, how many of us would prefer to drive a Porsche to work rather than riding in an overcrowded bus?

And yet that is what most job seekers are doing metaphorically when their strategy for finding work is to apply online with a resume. Think about how many riders are on that bus? Two years ago maybe a hundred per opening but now perhaps a thousand.

Riding this bus suggests one of two things. You can’t figure out any other way to get where you need to go or you just don’t believe in yourself enough to take a more assertive approach. I am willing to bet that most of us fall into the former category. “Well, here is the bus for that gig at Pfizer, better go ahead and just get on it.” Meanwhile there a bunch of stinkers on the bus with you that are pissing off the recruiter on the other end because they have not bothered to “clean” their resume in the appropriate way to show how good of a “fit” they are. Or maybe Pfizer advertised for a role and you are headed to the gig-stop only to find that it is no longer there.
Problem is to drive a Porsche you need to be able to know a little more than where the buses stop. Or maybe the better statement is: you need to work harder up front to be able to drive a fine automobile.

Applying on line, taking the bus, is a little bit like “making the donuts”. You just follow a set path. Driving a finally tuned machine will take research and more work on your part. However once you are OK with the work, you will never get on the bus again.

So how do you put your career behind the wheel of a Porsche? Well the first thing you need to do is to think of yourself in the same way that Steve Job’s thought of the IPOD when he brought it to market. Or the way Southwest Airlines launched, or any other company you can think of that launched a product that made the competition irrelevant. They certainly did not rely on what everyone else was doing to get their message heard.

Simply put, you need to think of yourself as the solution that the company you want to work for HAS to have. When you start there, all of the work in learning how to drive this fine automobile will be easy.

What is this work?

Check out my upcoming post: “What recruiters prefer you don’t know”