Purposeful Job Search | Your 7-Part Career GPS

In my profession, people routinely ask me about job and career search strategy. The best job search strategy I’ve ever reviewed was created by a friend and client. He was very purposeful and methodical in his interests and approach which resulted in him landing his ideal job.   

In my profession, people routinely ask me about job and career search strategy. The best job search strategy I’ve ever reviewed was created by a friend and client. He was very purposeful and methodical in his interests and approach, which resulted in him landing his ideal job.

His Background? My friend is a sales and commercial leader with a background in scientific instrumentation and software. His strategic competitive advantage is his ability to penetrate early stage adopter markets and markets that “cross the chasm” from one industry to another. In other words, if you are going after new markets, this is the type of fellow you’d want to consider hiring.

With his endorsement and support, I’d like to share his methodology with you, which can be summarized as a 7-Part Marketing Strategy. In other words, think of this as your career GPS. I encourage you to download the Marketing Strategy (below) and consider the following as you complete it.

First, take notice of any “Mega Trends.” Mega trends are global, sustained and macro economic forces of development that impact business, economy, society, cultures and personal lives thereby defining our future world and its increasing pace of change.  Identifying mega trends fosters and solidifies a sense of purpose now and in the future. Our compass (sorry, old school) or GPS points us in the right direction.

Next, consider some deceivingly simple questions that will help you identify your Professional Objective:

1.)   What do you truly want to do? What you are called to do and why you are called to do it are often the hardest questions to answer, but they are very important and should be contemplated early in the process.

2.)   What are you good at?

3.)   How can you add value?

When these questions are deeply contemplated and discussed with family, close friends and colleagues, optimal and alternative career “Tracks” can be developed and proactively pursued.  Think of this marketing document much like we (in the US) think of our Constitution. This document serves as the foundation from which the networking, contact and follow up plan flows.

From there, identify your Prospective Position(s) as well as your Positioning Statement. A positioning statement expresses how you fit a particular market niche in a way that your competitors don’t.

Detailing your Competencies and Skills (KSA’s) is your next step. Create a chart that summarizes what value you can add to prospective employers. The graphic might have main categories as well as specific skills within a given category.

The last steps are to define your Target Markets as well as Target Industries and Example Companies. Analogous to fishing the part of a lake where the fish are, these are the industries and companies where your skills will most likely flourish.

The sample Marketing Plan should give you a good idea of what this plan can look like.

Additional Tips

  • Remember that this document is primarily for YOU It’s your GPS. It’s not a document designed for you to distribute extensively, although you can share it with friends, close contacts, search firms or others that may have a vested interest in your success.
  • Create this document for yourself whether you are in “active search” mode or not.
  • Update it periodically alongside your resume.
  • If you are considering change, create a spreadsheet of 50-70 target companies based on your Tracks and work your list!

And now, for my friend’s template! (Word Version HERE)

John Doe                                                                                   Address, City, State, Zip Mobile Phone # | email address | LinkedIn Profile Link  

 7-Part Marketing Strategy

  1. Mega Trend

Translational/Personalized Medicine from Life Sciences to Healthcare impacting technology to economics and involving new and complex business models.

  1. Professional Objective (Consider creating more than one track to enhance your options)

Track A: Leverage science, technology and business background into health care enabling technologies at initial stage of commercial development in emerging markets.  (i.e. Modeling/analytics in disease profiling; clinical trial design, health economics, direct to consumer genetic testing, genetic testing/biomarkers applied to diagnostics/therapeutics)

Track B: Life Science R&D technologies (preferable enabling) niche or platform, software or tools.  (i.e. Genomic testing – Next Generation Sequencing/Expression Tools, Genomic data platforms, genomic data modeling/analytics)

  1. Prospective Positions:  VP/Director/Manager                  

Preferred Functions Include: Global Sales; Enterprise / Strategic Accounts / Strategic Marketing / Marketing Business Development / Sales; Partnering, licensing

  1. Positioning Statement

Strong science, technology and business background. Extensive and comprehensive leadership in new market development and execution of strategies that drive organizational and top-line revenue growth.  Successfully capture multi-million dollar deals and drove sustainable organic growth by aligning strategic business needs of clients with technology solutions supported by market trends.  Leadership style characterized by strong interpersonal, negotiation and influence skills instrumental in building/directing high performing solution sales teams.

  1. Competencies & Skills:

    1. Target Market
    2. Geographic Area:                Primary:  East Coast, Philly, DC, NJ  Secondary:  East Coast based HQ or significant presence that would allow for partial offsite work and/or site travel.Size of Organization: Small preferred – Series-A VC funded or a new market/business entity within an established companyEnvironment/Culture:   Customer/market driven, strong leadership and management team, entrepreneurial environment
      1. Target Industries & Example Companies