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High-Dives into Shallow Pools of Opportunities
Not all companies are the same, thus, worth your time and effort
Professional high divers compete in a diverse set of environments. From indoor pools to hills and populated bridges, they adventure themselves with the thrill of a lifetime. However, cautious professionals study well where they are jumping into. Otherwise, they may not be alive for another dive.
For a long time, I dove into lots of crazy opportunities. I applied for challenging roles that seemed to align well. I had all the skills the job description required. I lived close to their offices. I even had more experience than most other candidates. Still, I struggled to land a job.
My problem was not understanding the pool I was diving into. Spending time with roles and companies that were not worth the effort. That is the pain many feel in the everyday job market. The only cure to this curse is to identify what companies value the most and position ourselves well.
Measuring the water before diving in
The best instrument to measure the quality of the job market waters is also the most obvious: The job description.
Regarding the job description, as discussed previously, the critical elements to focus on are the company and team context, skills, and experience.
Carefully read the job description to understand the specific context in which the role exists. This means delving into the company's mission, the team's objectives, and the overall industry landscape. Match your skills to the requirements. Explain how you have applied your skills in similar contexts rather than just listing your skills.
Finally, consider your experience. Showcase relevant projects and accomplishments that align with the role's demands. By capturing these three aspects – context, skills, and experience – you craft an application that speaks directly to what the company seeks.
Self-awareness is your compass for success
Self-awareness is a reliable compass to navigate the uncharted open sea of jobs. Be brutally honest about your skills, responsibilities, and achievements.
Instead of aiming for the extremes, find the zone of competence where you can thrive and grow. Do not undersell or oversell yourself. Be realistic. Remember, companies value candidates who are, not only proficient, but also have room for growth with a track record of great trajectory.
The left side of the canvas helps you to map out your skills, interests, and resources that align with roles parallel to your competencies. The right side delineates the baseline criteria to better find companies that fit well.
Give it a shot, and fill the canvas yourself. That will help you navigate the choppy waters, deep in the river of opportunities.
What lies deep in the river
Researching the company, the team, the hiring manager, and those connected to them is crucial. Dive into the trifecta of job satisfaction: compensation, responsibility, and culture.
A fair compensation package, surrounded by supportive colleagues and an engaging work environment, can significantly impact your long-term growth.
It's not just about having a job; it's about thriving in a role that resonates with you. Understanding what a company values and how it treats its employees will help you pitch yourself better and decide whether they are a good fit for you.
The happy intersection
As you adventure through the job market, aim to find the happy intersection where your skills, passions, and the company's needs align.
This intersection often resides within the zone of competence and your zone of happiness. It's where you can make a meaningful impact while continuously growing your skills and contributing to your team's success.
Takeaways and what is next
Today, we've explored the importance of understanding the value of each opportunity before diving in. Remember that not all companies are made the same, and it's worth investing your time and effort where you can thrive.
Here is a summary of what we covered:
Significance of analyzing job descriptions for context, skills, and experience.
The power of self-awareness in finding your zone of competence.
The importance of researching company culture, compensation, and responsibilities.
Getting the intersection between what the company needs vs what you want.
In the next edition, we'll delve into the path of least resistance by attracting attention to your profile. Get ready to learn how to stand out and ensure your qualifications don't go unnoticed.
Spoiler alert: The job search canvas will come in handy. Until then, I look forward to hearing from you and how your job search is going.
I will see you again in the next edition.