Imagine you were on a weeklong hike. The beginning representing your current career path and the end representing your dream job.
All is going well, but just before the end of the hike, you come across a ravine 6m long. It looks like there used to be a bridge there, but a flood (by the river called digital age) has swept it away.
Although you can walk down to the bottom of the ravine from your side, the other side is a steep cliff face. You have enough food to last a week and only have access to what was in your bag last time you went hiking and had to conduct such a crossing.
What do you do?
Option A – Jump across?
Knowing the world long jump record is 8.95m, this is well within the capability of man to jump across in one go.
Option B – Turn back and go home?
It will take you a week to walk back to where you began, so you have enough supplies to last. However, you do so knowing you will not obtain your dream job.
Option C – Create an action plan?
Option A is not a very smart option, yet is the option that most people take when beginning their job search.
Although it is possible for someone to obtain a job straight away (and jump 6m) those people are the high performance athletes of the job market. Attempting to jump is sometimes a speculative approach that is often met with little success. BUT… it can happen.
Option B is an option that many people decide to do after initially jumping without success. It provides security, something many professionals prioritise, especially when they have a young family to care for. A completely viable option, the only problem is by the end of it, you are no closer to your dream job than where you were at the beginning of the hike.
Option C is the most successful option to cross the ravine and land your dream job. Unfortunately, it is the option most of us either neglect or take last.
What is an action plan?
An action plan is a process that helps to clearly identify your goals and track progress along the way, by creating certain tasks to achieve to ensure you remain on course to achieve such goals.
Why should I action plan?
Action planning your job hunt allows you to focus your efforts and ideas to help decide what step you need to take next. Too often people approach the job hunt without any SMART goals.
How is this metaphor relevant?
In the narrative’s instance, the hike represents your job hunt and the other side of the ravine represents your dream job.
How do we create an action plan to get across?
To develop an action plan we need to see if it is realistic. Is there a solution to crossing the ravine in less than a week with all of the available resources? Of course there is.
We forget that in our job search we already have most of the necessary tools available to help us land our dream job. From previous applications, we have access to a CV, an old Cover Letter and a LinkedIn profile.
Similarly, you have similar resources available in your backpack to help you cross the ravine. Maybe some rope, hammer, tape and clothes.
Granted, your rope may need reinforcing/lengthening/adjusting for a successful cross of the ravine, however, it is no different to your own CV, interview techniques or LinkedIn profile.
Spend time updating your CV, practicing your interview techniques and building your LinkedIn profile to make them more suitable for the current job and job market.
Usually, this will not be an easy fix. Oftentimes it will take multiple sessions to improve it, so break each component into smaller tasks to make it less daunting. Set a timeframe you would like to have each task completed by to help track your progress and increase motivation as you complete each task.
You can also utilise resources you have indirect access to.
Maybe you can look at other peoples LinkedIn profiles? Pick what you like about it, what is a common trend that you don’t have and implement it on your own profile.
An action plan gives yourself the best possible chance to succeed and a pathway to achieve your end goal.
Although we all want to be a long jumper, most of us aren’t.
Even with an action plan, it can take more than one attempt, but with every attempt, you creep closer to your final goal and dream job.
How does Career Intelligence fit into the metaphor?
Sometimes you can create an action plan, without utilising the right resources. Career Intelligence has helped thousands of executives cross the ravine before and have inside knowledge into the most effective means to do so.
We can create an action plan for you and help you land your dream job quicker than you could imagine. Obtaining your dream job is difficult. We are here to help.
Upload your CV to our database for a free CV appraisal to see how it stands up to the international job market.