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by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen TipsheetTagged as: ,

It is NOT hard to achieve professional success – it’s just that we don’t have practice doing it. We spend each day becoming stronger in our area of expertise – yet for the vast majority of people, looking for the next opportunity is something that occurs only a few times in one’s lifetime.  While being obsessive about your career is counterproductive, finding your next role requires a defined process:

Focus: If you are not the perfect candidate for the specific role, you will likely not be considered for the position. Insight: understand your skills, strengths, and weaknesses, then look for roles/organizations that match.

Communications: Ensure that your resume and LinkedIn profile looks sharp – and is written by you. Your cover letter must be focused on the organization’s needs – not yours. And you must have the ability to communicate confidently throughout the interview process.

Research: What are the trends in the industry? What are the issues that the organization is facing? Check out the web site, social media sites,, annual report, product brochures, etc. Who are the competitors – and what are their strengths/weaknesses? Who do you know that works there, and what do they say? Insight: the better your research, the better your interview questions.

Perseverance: Job search really started when you started school – it’s just that no one told you. And it should continue, even if you are now happily employed. While you may not exactly be looking for another opportunity immediately, don’t neglect professional development, career planning, mentoring meetings, networking, etc.

If you thought that these ideas were only for job-seekers, then think again: this process is even more important if you hope to achieve success within your current organization.


Imagine that you were applying for your current role. Look at the above process, then choose one new item to add to your calendar. If you already have everything done, then set a quota for networking, information interviews, phone calls, etc. Practice the process, and you will become a professional at it.

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