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Be Crystal Clear- Show How You Solve a Problem

I was all ready to see the Lunar Eclipse the other morning.  I was awake and looking forward to the spectacular event, but alas, it was cloudy, no moon to be seen.moon with clouds

When seeking employment, you are the moon in the lunar eclipse.  You have a limited window of time to show your awesomeness.  However, if there are clouds, no one can see it.  Clear away the clouds!

You are not seeking an employer, you are seeking an opportunity to solve problems that need solving. Instead of pursuing job postings, create a list of potential employers who will need your kind of problem-solving abilities.

  • Be armed with research on these potential employers to know what their issues are and how you can make a difference.
  • Prepare examples of your work, in story form and in written form!
  • Be able to present yourself as a solution.  Know what makes you special and STICK TO IT.  Don’t waiver.

You know what you are great at doing, so don’t mix messages.  Don’t try and be something that you don’t want to be.  Sure you can do anything, but really, that’s not what you want and that certainly isn’t what the company is looking for.

Not long ago I met Steve Levy (virtually).  (Technically, he introduced himself to me after a Twitter chat).  Now here’s a guy who is sure of what he knows and how he is a solution. He commands respect, really!  One of his more recent blog posts “Interview Like A Consultant” came about after he was participating on #Megajobhuntchat and suggested that job seekers interview like a consultant.  He explains the mindset of this approach to interviewing.

But just so I am clear, the communication of what problems/issues you are great at solving has to come much earlier than the interview.  It happens while you are attending conferences, online, chatting with friends!

What can you do to be more clear in your communication?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Steve Levy December 23, 2010, 8:31 am

    Steve who? I’m flattered…

    It’s easy to believe you’re confident going into an interview but the only way to truly be confident is to prepare-YOU CANNOT WING AN INTERVIEW AND EXPECT TO SUCCEED!!! I’ve been on several lately and my prep work included:

    Reading the most recent reports of the top 5 analysts who cover the companies (I will CALL the analysts when these interviews go to the offer stages – pretty ballsey, eh?)…

    Reading chapter and verse about the financials via Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg…

    Reviewing positive and negative ramblings via Indeed.com’s Forum and Glassdoor.com as well as a general searching via Google (COMPANY sucks), Twitter, and Facebook…

    Yeah, and I also read the company’s website but just to be vaguely familiar with all product lines.

    I printed all thus stuff out, READ it, and identified the stuff that made me go “huh?” – you should seriously think about asking the HUH questions before you leave the interview (BTW, these are things that either I don’t understand or do not make sense – what’s the dumbest question? The one you don’t ask)

    Don’t let the opportunity pass you by…

    • Hannah Morgan December 23, 2010, 8:43 am

      Steve,
      Being prepared seems like the obvious solution…so why don’t more people prep? Or perhaps they are prepping, but in the wrong way.

      Love your straight shooting style! You know, I am so glad to have met you! I truly enjoy great and unique thinkers! Best wishes for the New Year!

  • Lilian December 23, 2010, 10:35 am

    Thanks for sharing this post!

    “Don’t try and be something that you don’t want to be.” — We still need to resist and stop *faking* for getting the job. Sticking to what’s purposeful and what put us in a winning situation (by taking advantage of our key assets) are two essential points in the long run.

    It also points out the shift from a job-board dominated world to a more connected one.

    I came up with a quite similar framework [SSRR]

    S ituation – Mainly listening, identifying key challenges and talking about them on a blog for example. This could also help design “engaging conversation objects” and attract people, to start building long-lasting relationships.

    S olutions – This part should be the most tailored as possible. Sharing frameworks could be a winning point showcasing a more professional approach.

    R oles – I tend to avoid talking about job search. Opportunity seeking is more adapted and optimistic. It encourages people to be focused on someone’s challenge, rather than the job search hardship. This is also where job titles could be real hurdles. Are we just fitting in ? Or are we starting from a problem to a specific role ?

    R esults – How to assess the effectiveness of the role ? What KPIs ? All these elements validate the need to invest in a problem-solver ?

    Anyway glad to connect with you this year. Happy New Year in advance Hannah!

    • Hannah Morgan December 24, 2010, 5:57 am

      Lilian:

      Thank you for adding to this post with your SSRR framework! Have you blogged about it? I want to reference it! Love these 4 points! Thank YOU for your help, support and camaraderie this year! Looking forward to 2011!

  • Lilian December 26, 2010, 5:52 am

    Most welcome Hannah! I’m about to send you a quick post on the SSRR approach.

    Have a great weekend!

  • Peter Dannerback June 21, 2011, 11:49 am

    Agree with the points about being prepared and presenting yourself as a solution. However, if you just target companies and not jobs, it could be a long while before you eat.

    • Hannah Morgan June 21, 2011, 1:38 pm

      Thank for your comment Peter.

      I agree, the best job seekers do a little bit of everything, in other words, they pester the right recruiters for the type of work they are looking for, they submit carefully crafted resumes for posted jobs and they network into target companies!

      Networking into a target company could be faster than applying for a posted job, and/or more rewarding. You see, just because a company posts a job doesn’t mean they are ready, willing and able to fill it immediately. AND not all companies post their openings. So developing a list of 40-50 target companies and networking into all of them could mean either you get there before the opening or competition, or they could create a job for you because you have all the skills they know they will need.

      This is just another method to add to the pool of tactics of job search. Does it make sense?

      Here’s another post I wrote about this approach: http://careersherpa.net/what-should-you-do-more-of/