Get Your Dream Job!

It’s a difficult market out there right now and competition is tough, so it’s paramount to set yourself apart from the rest.

I’m seeing more and more coaching clients who because of the downturn in the market, are seeking alternative careers.

Any career change has a risk element, but is also an opportunity to reinvent yourself, and focus on skill sets you may not have used, or don’t realise you actually have.

One key advantage the market now has, is that companies are being more adventurous in looking at the transferable skills prospective employees possess. For example, they know they have a bigger pool of candidates, but in tough economic times there is an indication that they want much more for their money, and are looking at people with a wider skill set, who can work across a number of areas.

This is a key advantage for the job seekers who are looking at changing careers. Everyone has transferable skills of great use to employers in different industry sectors.

A recent client of mine Alex, had worked in the competitive and highly pressured arena of corporate consulting, for blue chip multinationals. She was feeling pretty burnt out after 25 years focusing on for-profit companies, and wanted to do more in the direction of ‘giving something back’.

Together we focused on her areas of personal interest, the life/work balance she was now aiming for, and fulfilling her need of doing something for the greater good. We then packaged together her transferable skills, which included:-

Professional & Personal skill set

* Her ability to meet ever changing needs
* Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
* A well honed resilience working within time- critical environments
* Proven team player
* Having a persuasive and confident nature
* Extensive knowledge and business contacts within blue chip organisations
* A can do attitude, with an ability to communicate at all levels
* Solution focused, adept at problem solving
* Energetic and enthusiastic.

Whilst there were many other facets to Alex’s skills set, we focussed on common denominators which would package well to prospective employers, in particular the charity sector which Alex was now sure she wanted to move into.

In Alex’s case, these key skills were perfect in marketing herself to charities for corporate fundraising roles. Through assignments I gave her, she was able to target the charities she most wanted to work for, and cold prospected her wish list. Within 9 weeks Alex had had 2 face to face interviews, 3 telephone conversations with senior individuals within 3 different charities, and then last week was offered what she describes as her dream job for one of the UK’s leading charities.

An important aspect of Alex's experience is that these were job opportunities not even advertised. A great example of someone creating their own desired outcome!

Alex made a decision to change, planned a step-by-step route to that change – incorporating specific goals and a time plan, and then executed all of these to reach a successful outcome.

She illustrated the need for making and sticking to a decision, having a well thought out plan and committing to making it happen. It’s interesting to note that Alex fed back to me that initially she thought that it was going to be really hard, but as the plan was forming she realised that it was entirely possible, which only added to her enthusiasm and excitement to her future.

If you are now at a place ready to create change; a simple way to start, is to list items in key areas:

* The things you love to do
* The aspects you are good at
* Your personal qualities
* Your specific work experience
* The dream organisations you would want to work for

Then write down how 1+ 2 + 3 + 4 are transferable to 5.
If you are having difficulties in identifying what you think you are good at and what you think your personal qualities are, then a great exercise is to ask 3-5 friends to write down their opinions of (2) and (3). It’s really interesting the feedback friends can give, and they of course can sometimes know you better than you know yourself.

Remember, everything just starts as an idea; but only you have the power to nurture it into your own reality.

Copyright Elizabeth Bacchus 2009

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