I'm Finally Unemployed And Need To Look For A Job The Entrepreneur's Way
(Colorado Springs, Colorado)
I've been a desktop support technician – a generalist, who never targeted any specific technology problem. My contract employers have always just wanted someone to be a good slave and to know enough about windows-based computers and printers to solve typical, everyday problems. ========================================
Most of the companies I've worked for had no interest in my development or in helping me in other areas. In fact, they blocked me from doing other work, because of their low view of me as a 'hired gun' tech support guy that is in one day and gone the next.
I've been working like this for 17 years.
Recently I found out the following about myself. As a generalist, I consider this valuable. But technology recruiters and managers generally skip over it, considering it "resume fluff". They scan my document looking for some specific tech skills. However, I have much more to offer.
I now know that I'm really drawn to use the Internet to create how-to's tutorials, videos, and articles on many subjects, even though I don't seem to have any singular focus on any particular group of people because, again, I'm more of a jack-of-all-trades.
Also I continually look for better ways to solve problems. I take initiative to make solutions happen. This takes diligence. I stick with problems to cover all details in a project until all the problems get addressed.
There are other benefits in my way of doing business, such as gaining excellent customer satisfaction, advocating for their needs, achieving their trust by keeping cool on the phone when the heat is on. And I'm also pretty good at documenting and organizing results to help my colleagues continue troubleshooting. I'm even acknowledged for my ability to train people and be creative in ways not typical for most techies, using multimedia, blogs, etc.
So, my abilities cover far more than what's needed in a call center doing technical support work. Now I'm unemployed and I don't know what kind of help I could offer someone, considering all my skills and interests. Can you suggest a target that might use these things I've listed?
----- Arturo's Reply to Mark -----
Mark, it's regrettable you find yourself out of work right now. But all is not lost. You've made clear that you have a great deal to offer to...the right
client.For 17 years you've been developing a broad range of skills and you know what you have to offer. You know what kind of benefits you bring to a particular type of situation. The question is twofold. First and foremost, are there opportunities in the market right now to continue exploiting by offering the benefits that you've proven capable to deliver before to other employers? Second, do you want to work for employers who find these benefits of value to them?
It may be the case that there are such opportunities in the market and you don't want to work for such employers, because they don't pay enough, they're not loyal enough, they don't welcome you into their inner circle or whatever reason you may have. But if, on the contrary, you wish to continue working for such clients, then follow the next approach.
You've asked me to help you identify your target. This is not possible for me to do for you nor can I help to do it with you in a public forum. You need literally to step out and meet people in the space where you both know you'll be useful and in demand. But the following may help you, because looking for a job is not much different than starting a viable business.
- Forget the resume.
- Identify a specific set of companies to target and research.
- Identify key individuals inside those companies to speak with.
- Connect via local events and social networking directly or indirectly with these specific individuals AND their types elsewhere.
- Enter the conversation that is already going on in their minds.
- Based on their feedback, draft a business proposal to participate in a project with them and deliver to a hiring manager.
- Ask for a business meeting to discuss the proposal.
- Fine tune the discussion to the strategic objectives that the groups wants to achieve.
- Prove on the spot that you can do the job needed by doing it on the spot.
- Help the manager craft the job description so you can submit a custom-fit resume for it once you're offered the job that you helped create.
What To Ask Yourself Before Looking For A Job To Proposition For
Here's how you can determine the viability of your proposal to a potential employer, just as you would for a potential customer. Answer the following questions.Question #1:
Are you latching yourself onto a hot market trend or just
proposing what makes you feel good?
(A) Market Trend
(B) Feel Good
(C) Don't KnowQuestion #2:
Are you a __________?
(A) hammer looking for a nail
(B) feature looking for a product
(C) 'nice to have' looking to become a 'must have'
(D) stylish curiosity with no one to pay for you
(E) to-die-for, proven benefit someone with need and money expressly wantsQuestion #3:
"I know I'm urgently important to my prospective
employer because ___________.
(A) I've spent time with them and they've explicitly told me so.
(B) There are competitors who are already profiting from delivering on this urgent need.
(C) The felt need is so huge, the prospect needs little convincing about its legitimacy.
(D) I know 3 hot buttons that when pressed will activate a response in my potential
(E) None of the aboveQuestion 4:
How many times have you iterated through the process of having your potential
employer validate your assumptions about their pressing desires?
(C) More than twice
(D) NeverQuestion 5:
Do you know your unique value proposition
(C) Don't Know
If your answers are (B) or (C) for #1, anything other than (E) for #2, (E) for #3 and anything other than (C) for #4, then you are nowhere close to having a
monetizable business proposal
icicle's chance in hell of getting and surviving an interview, and your
job search most likely will never get tracking no matter how much you spin your wheels.
But if you have no unique marketing proposition (USP), then you don't even have tires and got nothing to spin. Find your USP.I know you're not starting in your career. But you are facing some transition challenges. You may benefit from some of the practical advice in this book on finding the work you want in 12 weeks using the techniques of an entrepreneur.