It’s a great idea to define your own professional “sweet spot“ when looking for a new job. But don’t stop there – also define a best-fit target role and company.
Talking to a friend this week about his job search, it became clear rather quickly what his sweet spot is: he’s a deeply experienced IT infrastructure manager. The hands-on type, not the 30,000 foot theoretician.
Give him a technology system, and he’ll implement and manage it.
But some of the job interviews he’d been on didn’t result in an offer, not because of his skills and experience (which are formidable), but because the role and/or company was not a bullseye for him.
Once we determined, from his past work history, that his best role would involve being the “go-to” person who can manage a bunch of systems (including during scale-up growth or scale-down contraction), we could begin to figure out his bullseye next-job environment.
- He had lots of experience in pharma, but the vertical isn’t crucial – his skills transcend any particular market domain.
- He is able to interface with a wide variety of stakeholders, and systems – which points to a broad generalist position (not, for instance, a programmer, or a spreadsheet-oriented Project Manager).
- He prefers to work directly on and with the systems; learning, implementing, and managing them. Can manage staff but also likes to get his hands on the technology.
- Large companies will tend to pigeonhole people into more limited roles; a small or mid-sized company is the best environment for his experience/skillset (esp. a growing company).
Why do this bullseye exercise? Well, it’s pretty simple: we don’t want to waste time trolling for jobs that aren’t going to be a good fit. Having a clear grasp of your sweet spot and your bullseye means a far more targeted job search experience.
And…don’t be afraid to make your target clear on your resume and/or LinkedIn profile.
And, if you’re looking for a great IT Manager for an open bullseye position as described above, well, here’s Rick’s LinkedIn profile!
(Just before hitting “Publish” on this post, I had an eerily similar discussion with another experienced guy (Hi, Larry!) who has a very broad skill set. A great COO for hire. There’s definitely a place in the market for skilled generalists…!)
Also on the blog: A 4-Dimensional Approach to Pinpointing your “Sweet Spot”
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