What Do You Offer?
In your search for work or a better job, you often run into the problem of how to differentiate yourself from the competition.
It has a lot to do with what you offer or bring to the table and the other half of that equation is your experience, which I will get to in the next section.
So, the question I have for you is, “Which of the following are critical to having success in getting a job?”
- Your skills
- Your experience
- Your education/training
- Your knowledge
- Your contacts
- Your how
It’s important to note that all of them are important but a few are critical to your success. Let’s cover each one!
Yes, you often need the skills in order to get and perform the job. Employers look for this in the initial screening process. It is important but not always critical.
When I cover the Service Offer Strategy or Project Offer Strategy in my Back 2 Basics Coaching Service you will understand why this is not as important as you think.
This is also important but not always necessary as many companies prefer to train people or to get individuals fresh out of college whom they can mold into the employees they desire.
Experience is often needed in critical areas but for the most part you can get a decent job without experience if you have a basic understanding of how to do it.
Many jobs have minimum education and certification requirements. Without them you cannot get the job or enter that field. So, if you desire to work in one of those fields be aware.
For other fields, there is some flexibility with the education depending on the number of years of experience you possess.
In general, for a decent job you will at a minimum need a Bachelor's degree or some type of certification or specialized training with in demand skills.
Education does not guarantee you anything but more opportunities to interview for jobs you may not have qualified for without that degree.
What you know is very important and can be critical depending on your area of expertise. The way you improve your knowledge is to continually learn.
Change is the one thing you cannot stop. If you decide to stop learning then your knowledge becomes obsolete and you will have a difficult time competing for jobs.
Even if you do learn new things are they in demand? Are there too many people in your field with the same qualifications?
Your knowledge becomes an advantage when you can demonstrate to the employer how they will benefit from what you bring to the table.
While the first four are important (skills, experience, education/training and knowledge) the sad part is someone can match you in those areas.
There are hundreds of people just like you and you do not stand out from them. This is why you get so frustrated when looking for work.
There is a way to stand head and shoulders above the competition.
Unfortunately, no one has explained how to do it when everyone else has similar education, skills, experience and knowledge like you.
Remember earlier I said, “You should network to build relationships?” Those relationships then become contacts and those contacts become valuable to particular employers.
For instance, if you are interviewing and the company has done their due diligence on you they may notice you have contacts in a field they are trying to break into.
If no other candidate has your depth of contacts you could get the job even if you are not the most qualified.
Remember, you built the relationships by giving first and not expecting anything in return.
As a result, when you inform your contacts you have an opportunity to get a job based on knowing them they will most likely agree to talk with the employer to help you to secure the job as they could benefit too from the increase in business. Everyone could win!
No matter your level of experience you should never underestimate the value of your contacts. They may just be friends and associates to you but can be valuable resources to a potential employer.
Please, do not mention you have the contacts. But you could bring up the fact that you often consult with various C-level people in say the Telecommunications industry or whatever industry you know they may have an interest in.
I often get into a heated discussion when I cover this during my in person training's.
Over the years, you have developed a way of doing your job that cannot be duplicated by another.
You have specific methods and strategies that you have learned through trial and error.
As a result, you have a way you do things that get the job done.
I call this your, “HOW.”
Your HOW is your secret sauce. You never, ever give away the HOW. But there is something you can do.
Have you ever been to BJ’s, Sam's Club or Costco?
As you walk the aisle you notice someone cooking and providing samples.
Once you taste the food, if it is good, you ask, “Where is that located” and they point to the item and you often pick it up.
You purchased because you sampled the product.
Employers would like to get a sample of what you have before they offer you the job too!
It is a huge risk for them and anything you can do to east their anxiety will go a long way to putting you as the front runner for the job.
You just have to figure out what portion of your HOW you are willing to give away. Or, you can explain what you do without providing the details.
For example, I can provide you with my family recipe with all the ingredients but leave out the measurements. You know WHAT is in it but do not know HOW to make it.
Think of the WHAT as the steps and the HOW as the details to make the steps work.
The problem is most people go on interviews giving away their good stuff without securing the job first.
Why should the company hire you when you just told them how you do what you do?
Remember, determine what small portion of the HOW you are willing to give a way and run with it.
Just make sure your HOW matches what the company is looking for in their employee.
This may take a little time to work through this because you may have never paid attention to HOW you do something.
If people keep coming to you for assistance or advice on the job then your HOW is evident to them, which means it works.
Just identify what you did (the steps) to get to your HOW and then work on that, so you can present it to an employer.
For example, I often asked during the interview, "Is there a problem you are having right now that you can't seem to solve but you know the answer is simple?"
If they say, "Yes" I ask them to explain the problem and then I can provide, from experience, what I did in the past that may help them.
Keep in mind, I don't provide too much of the HOW but just enough to demonstrate I know what I am talking about.
If they desire more then we have to discuss salary and a start date among other things.
Companies need you to show a little of what you know. Otherwise, how can they truly compare you to the competition? How do you standout from the competition?
Until next time!
Take care, be safe and stay blessed.
Shawn "The Job Hunt Ninja" Nelson