Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Step #1 in Your Job Transition

It seems of late that I've been really busy working with executives who are in transition from one job and in search of another. Scary times. Even scarier as these brilliant people are competing with some other really brilliant people for the same opportunities.

What to do?

The first bit of advice and where I typically jump in is right up front. My experience from Fortune and start-ups gave me the opportunity to scour through way-too-many resumes. My work now with executives brings back those same memories. Typically everything looks very vanilla - everyone is an expert in operations, finance, marketing, improving sales, reducing debt, leading teams, etc, etc, etc..... I often think "wouldn't this stuff be a given if I'm looking for say a C-Level/VP of X?" But, then I think "OK, so what makes this person better than someone else?" We are a comparison people, aren't we? We do this when we buy anything, don't we?

So it starts with YOUR unique value...what makes YOU the best? .....where do you EXCEL beyond others? I focus on helping people look at their unique DNA as well as their background and successes to build a composite of where they are amazingly unique and how they differenciate themselves when its time to interview. As an example, I worked with a super CEO in the healthcare delivery market. We looked at his DNA and found a guy who is really good working in large companies and creating really strong growth. HOW he achieved this growth was from his repeatitive way of getting people motivated in each part of his businesses. His uniqueness was in achieving unparalleled results through engaging people as part of the solution. He got another CEO position with a great organization because they needed exactly what he offered.

Did my friend really sound so different from anyone else? Reality - no. But it was in how he crafted this uniqueness into his pitch, conversation, way of describing ANYTHING he did...this was his manifesto!! He is brilliant at this and believes his next role NEEDS him!

This process of really understanding yourself and then finding your uniqueness is really hard. Take the time to do this right up front or even make notes along the way of what gives you passion. If you're in transition, its a matter of sharpening twice....cutting once.