One of the things that are difficult to manage with career transition clients is their expectations. If someone has committed to investing in themselves and their careers, they want results and they want them now, or at least ASAP. But there are many moving parts to SCORE a new job and they can become more complex the more senior an individual job seeker is. There are simply fewer jobs at the top. Sadly, there are no shortcuts and no magic sauce to get to where you want to be.
But there is a methodology to help you structure your process, which will help reduce the confusion and potential stress. It takes time and effort which is why so many want to bypass the basics and look for easy fixes that are not so easy to come by. I have created an acronym that I am going to incorporate into my new career program in the autumn. I call it SCORE.
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SCORE a new job using this acronym
S is for SELF – AWARENESS
The S in SCORE is for self-awareness. It might seem obvious but you would be surprised how many people get to senior positions within organisations without giving themselves more than a passing thought.
Then suddenly something happens. Maybe they receive negative feedback or get passed over for a promotion or something else goes on and they realise they need professional input. When you come to making a concrete plan this piece is vital. It will help you avoid “spray and pray” tactics of sending high numbers of unfocused CVs to any job advert that comes along. This will only add to your frustration as your applications get lost in the recruitment black hole. You will then complain about recruiters. This is not their fault. This is on you.
It can be quite a challenging part of process and many try to skip it. Don’t – it will come back to bite you! You will need to tap into this self-knowledge at every stage in the process from your online profile, your resume and your interview pitches. Even networking. It is an indispensable part of the process. Aristotle said “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Now is the time to wise-up.
C is for CONSIDER
The C in SCORE is for CONSIDER. It’s important that all job seekers sit down and reflect on their options. Now is the time to make a plan and commit to it. From here on in if you are not working in line with your goals, either your goals need to change or your behavior does.
Most people think they have multiple options and that thought overwhelms them with the possibility of having to make so many complex choices. But in reality, when you correctly factor in your goals you can usually reduce that number to a handful. When you have understood the need for a career P.L.A.N – life will seem simpler.
O is for OWN
The O in SCORE is for OWN. This is a tough one. Many job seekers struggle to own their career achievements. They tend to get stuck in process mode, recounting their career history as a chronology and as a job description. What they need to do is own their successes and be able to share them backed up with numbers. So many don’t have metrics to support their story. This is a gender trap for women, so ladies, take note. You need to lose words such as numerous, various, “lots of” – yes really, someone said that recently.
It’s also about taking ownership of your processes and holding yourself accountable. No one else can do this for you.
R is for RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL
The R in SCORE is for RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL. Your network is your net-worth. This is especially true if you want to change sectors or geographic regions. It’s important to have connections in your target area as well as the sector you are currently in.
You need to build and nurture your network on an ongoing basis which takes time and energy because a very high percentage of career opportunities come through network referrals. Depending on the statistics used, it can be as much as 80%+. Some job openings are not even advertised, so having a strong online presence and being visible, searchable, and contactable is important? if you are an active job seeker. It’s vital to have a complete LinkedIn profile that contains a good balance of keywords relevant to your career goals and target companies.
Organizations like employees who are connected. Relationship capital is important for creating business opportunities, staying in touch with the market, and abreast of all the changes that are going on in the workplace. It’s all about who you know and more significantly who knows you.
Whatever you don’t frantically try to pitch to people at the last-minute when you are in a bind. For most, it’s a major turnoff.
E is for EXECUTE
The E in SCORE is for EXECUTE. This is a tough word but it means that you have to take action and be accountable to yourself, take action, and deliver! Now is the time to commit to getting things done and making job search part of your daily routine. If you are unemployed, looking for a job is your job. The job search can be time-consuming, so it’s important to be focused and strategic. Keep a close and neutral eye on your results. Note any patterns and don’t take anything personally. Ask for feedback if you can get it (it is quite hard today for that unless you are very advanced in a process) and be willing to change and try something different if you see a particular trend.
If you find yourself getting dispirited seek professional help or find a job search group. Look for a mentor. Friends and family no matter how well-intentioned sometimes only add to the confusion. Job search is like life and parenting. Everyone has a view which they are willing to share and oftentimes they are all conflicting!
And finally – keep a SCORE card. Monitor your progress. Even no news is a message that something needs adjusting in your methodology.