How to make a hit in the Job Market

Michael_Jordan_BaseballWhat are companies looking for when hiring today? It’s a question that I get asked so many times I want to tell you what I’m seeing. If I had to boil it down I’d say you should be doing what the hiring company is looking for in your current position. Prospective candidates always tell me “I can do that job” and confidence is great, but it’s more important that you have done the same type of job for another company (sometimes a competitor). I often use sports examples when trying to make point about the hiring process so here goes. If Tom Brady decides he wants to be the starting pitcher on Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox this year should he be allowed to start? As an outstanding athlete maybe he believes he could be successful. Sounds a little crazy but that’s the way a lot of companies will look at a candidate with no industry specific experience that guarantees success. Now don’t get me wrong, there are numerous examples of Executives that go to new industries especially in sales and marketing roles where they continue to thrive. That being said you’re often most valuable in the industry where you have made your mark. Just ask Michael Jordan how things worked out for him when he tried baseball after dominating basketball for so many years. Also ask him what he was paid as an unproven player in Minor League Baseball as opposed to his salary in the NBA.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is the ability to show a progression in your career. Have you built a reputation and a name for yourself in your chosen Field? If you have it will be obvious when you begin to test the job market. Strong companies are almost always willing to look at a difference maker that is proven especially when they are working for a competitor. That’s why so many companies require such executives to sign non-compete agreements. I always tell people to keep an eye on the competition while making certain to not burn any bridges. When looking for a new position always remember that actions speak louder than words. So don’t tell them you can do it, show them that you have done it, and done it well.