The old adage, it's all about who you know holds true. Some of the best roles that I've ever landed came through a trusted friend who had personally witnessed my exceptional execution in roles. You can pay it forward and be that person for someone else by giving an authentic recommendation.
But you can also be bold and do something in the spirit of massive action that is truly extraordinary.
Submit your CV to over 100 jobs.
That sounds completely bat-guano insane, doesn't it? The truth is, that you are the value and you can explode onto the scene of the gainfully employed like a bat out of hell! Why not put out a velvet rope and let employers line up to get to your contribution. You can lead the reverse auction, you can up your stock. At the end of the day, there are just too many companies that need high quality strategic selling talent.
So the caveat to this, is you must be phenomenal at what you do. I've written a multitude of posts to help you get there. So does it appear that I am advocating quantity over quality? No. There are hundreds of top roles that you can submit to in merely a few clicks. Is quality and quantity possible: Yes, here's how it's viable with LinkedIn.
Customize your resume and cover letter and really take the time to think about each role and write from the hip. I know one executive that literally took the time to apply to hundreds of jobs over a six month passive search and 5X'd her income. It requires radical openness and willingness to change, move anywhere in the world and wait until the match is made. Just like finding the perfect mate, you must wait until there is a mutual understanding of potential and value. They need to see your intrinsic and extrinsic value resplendently differentiated. Simply put: the feeling must be mutual.
Careers are a like a marriage, hopefully yours will be a good one. Needless to say, the divorce rate is pretty high. My philosophy is: Raise your standards and go after exactly what you want. Always play in a band or on a team where your contemporaries inspire you to be markedly better. There are several paradoxes at work here that are worth laying out in bullet points for job seekers interested in landing the 'perfect role.'
1. You must slow way down to speed up.
2. You must break out of your existing networks because even the ones you know who can recommend you in – it's all about who you know like politics and Tinsel Town – really will just limit you to what's come before. You must break the cycle!
3. Very few candidates will reach up beyond mediocrity. Stretch to fill the role that will accelerate you rather than being a huge fish in a small pond of your limitations.
4. Treat yourself like a product and service offering and literally hold dozens of qualified discovery calls with the recruiting organizations filling the buyer role.
5. You only get one chance to build a first impression so the irony here is that if you sound like everyone else, you risk being forgotten.
6. Non-traditional candidates who have struggled stand out, some of the top recruiters are looking for a mix of flexibility, agility and the indomitable human spirit.
7. Don't just apply to open requisitions on LinkedIn: find out who is doing the recruiting, study which team you'll be on and craft bespoke InMails to reach out with 30-60-90 day strategic attack plans. Study the company like a prospect that you will partner with and build a compelling, insight driven mission statement for how you'll move the needle once you come on board.
8. The enemy you know is better than the enemy you don't know is cowardice. There are great people out there and great cultures – believe it and make it real for you. It's worth daily fulfillment, believe me.
We underestimate what we can achieve in ten years and over-estimate what we can do in one. We need to choose a profession that aligns our passions with growth opportunities to be challenged and excel.
Breaking the fourth wall is a term I frequently use derived from the Shakespearean theater ethos which is the moment an actor turns and shares their inner thoughts with the audience. This goes back to the fundamentals of Dale Carnegie and how to influence others effectively. Your comfort zone is not the fourth wall. Five companies that auto-reject you because of some peccadilloes in your background where a machine read your CV, is not going to get you into the winner's circle. Honestly, you'll just never be happy if you don't go big. Just like prospecting, 3 precise accounts won't necessarily guarantee closing a million dollar deal, no matter what compelling the business insight you bring to the table: the status quo is just too gaping like a black hole with inescapable gravity toward nothingness. Deepen your bench with a cornucopia of opportunities that excite you to leap out of your bed and yell 'charge!' before the first bird tweets!
Organizations are often looking to play it safe, to not make a mistake, to fit a symmetrical piece in place of another in the machinery. You need to break the fourth wall, take massive action and build your own role in the organization where you land. Position yourself as a change agent and attract those to you in companies looking for your specific brand of awesome.
Your turn: What are your thoughts on the above paradoxes and strategies? Have you taken the easy route of who you know or built on the strength of weak ties within LinkedIn to transcend the limitations of your own network, however large? What do you agree or disagree with in this article? What additional value, tactics or strategies can you add that have helped you land your dream role, rocket your income and break the fourth wall?
If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website: www.TonyHughes.com.au
Main image photo by Flickr: bradfordst219