I received this note the other day and thought this was a great note to share with others.
Dear Interview Doctor,
I am in the process of either changing jobs or doing consulting in Quality Management. Since 85% to 90% of companies have not made the transition to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard, this may be a good opportunity for me. After helping my last company, I have a solid understanding of what needs changed to make that transition. I just purchased your e-book, which may help. Any advice would be helpful. John
I am sorry that you are in this situation but the best way to respond is with a plan. My best suggestion is to create a job search marketing plan! The same steps involved in changing jobs will support consulting goals as well so no actions are wasted.
Consider these steps:
1) Clarify the problem your target company probably has based on your knowledge and experience. Sure, we are guessing a little but you probably have a good idea what is the problem you can solve.
2) How specifically can you solve that problem? This is the WIIFM – “what’s in it for me” from the company’s perspective. This is also what you will talk about with people. You do NOT want to talk about your job search or no one will want to talk to you. How could your ideal company most effectively utilize your knowledge, skills and abilities? What are deliverables in what time frame that could solve the company’s problem? Is there a contract option available too? Is that an option? How would you structure that? This is all background information that you will now have at your fingertips when you speak to people.
3) Identify by name those target companies that meet your parameters. These are companies that you believe could utilize you to solve the problem you are pretty sure they have. Until we do that research you are only making an educated guess. But we need to start with some sort of list. We will use this list for outreach.
4) Now start your research. Research the company on Google, their website, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Who is the decision maker – the person who could hire you? Who do you know who works there? Who knows someone who knows someone? Who works there who might be a peer or in a subordinate role? Read some LinkedIn profiles to get an idea of what those people are like. Read press releases to identify projects. Extrapolate the issues behind those press releases.
5) Create a project plan that allocates some time every day to researching the companies on your target list. Start your outreach 5 companies at a time. When one company falls off the list for being undesirable or a dead end then add another so you always have at least 5 companies on your action list.
6) Take action. Reach out to connect to people at the company with whom you can have a conversation about the problem you think they probably have and that you are an expert in. “Talk” via email inside LinkedIn about business issues, professional to professional. Exchange LinkedIn emails about the topic until you feel comfortable asking for coffee. Then at coffee talk further about that business issue, not about your job search. You want the person to think you are a whiz at that professional stuff (because of course you are! ) so they either want to engage you, really keep you in mind or make introductions to other folks because they think you are great (because you are!)
Does this make sense? It really works. Not on our time schedule but it works. Remember job search is a project plan without an end date. All you can control is the plan, not the outcome.