Orville Pierson’s Blog

Job Search Insurance

Have you found an insurance policy that covers you if your job search takes too long? How much would you pay for that kind of coverage? Have you talked to Lloyds of London yet?

So far as I know, you can’t buy one. But you can create one for yourself by paying particular attention to managing three areas of your search project. The following are three questions to guide you. The third one is the most difficult and probably the most important.

1. How good is your overall plan?

Any project works better when you have a good plan, and the central plan for job search is your marketing plan, the one you developed in Milestone Four, right?

In product marketing, you need to know exactly who your prospective buyers are and what they need. Then you offer to fill those needs, talking about the product in terms that your market will understand and appreciate.

Job search is no different – except for the very good news that you only need to close one sale.

2. Is your target market large enough?

“I’m not sure” is not an acceptable answer to this question. Not if you’re serious about getting a good job any time soon. Working a market that’s too small is one of the top reasons job searches don’t go well.

If you haven’t done the exercise called “Evaluating Your Target Market” please go do it right now. In order to do it, of course, you’ll need a marketing plan and a written target list.

3. What is your job market telling you?

In a job search, you are in a conversation with a particular job market, the one described by your marketing plan. If your networking is even halfway effective (and that’s all it needs to be), you are talking a number of people about a small group of organizations – probably less than 50, and almost certainly less than 100. You’re researching that same job market using the Internet and printed materials. And you’re talking to people currently employed by that group of organizations.

If you ask the right questions and are able to stay objective, you can ascertain the needs of that market well enough to see where you would best fit in. In the course of your dialog with your personal job market, you may find that you need to adjust your plan. You may need to shift the mix of organizations, expand their number, adjust your message about yourself, or even go back to the drawing board on your marketing plan.

In order to stay objective, it helps to discuss your progress with other people from time to time.

Paying attention to these three areas – and of course doing enough networking every week — is what makes your job search unusually effective. It might not be quite as good as a million dollar policy, but it’s as close as you can get.

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