Execute, Execute, Execute
It's interesting the things you learn at the FBI Academy that you never would have imagined as a civilian. For me, one of those was learned at Hogan's Alley. Hogan's Alley is a fake town in Quantico, Virginia. The FBI built it for use learning and practicing tactics for arrests, home entries, room clearings, vehicle stops, etc.
One thing I learned there was that at he beginning of an operation, once everyone is in place, you don't say, "Go, Go, Go" because in an intense moment, that could easily get confused with "No, No, No". Then you may have half your team GOing and the other half NOing, causing not only mass confusion, but also creating safety issues. Instead, the command to begin an operation is, "Execute, Execute, Execute". It's said three times to be sure everyone hears and knows that it was said intentionally. Upon the third "Execute", the whole team is in motion fulfilling their assignments, per the operational plan, and adapting according to what they are presented with in the moment. As we know, no plan survives first contact with the enemy, so my Marine husband's favorite phrase, "Improvise, Adapt, Overcome" kicks in immediately.
As I've built my business, I've learned the command that served me in the Bureau is a constant mantra in the civilian workforce and can serve the veteran job seeker in the job hunt.
In the civilian world, books like The Lean Startup are teaching it's better to ship an imperfect product and then immediately begin making improvements on it than it is to wait until the product is perfect and then ship. The reason is that if you wait for perfection to ship, you will have already missed your window of opportunity and lost your customers to someone who was willing to ship a minimum viable product (MVP). The goal is to latch on to your good idea then Execute.
So how does this apply to your job search? Aren't you already executing by going to the job boards and posting your resume to 10 different positions per day? No!!!!!
Applying on job boards is passive job hunting and it is not good enough in this job market!
There are hundreds of other people applying to that same job with that same magical "Apply Here" button and they have more industry experience than you, the veteran candidate. So what can you do to get noticed? Build your social networking profile and get in front of people through internal referrals. Execute.
The focus of this blog is your social networking profile. Here's what you need to know about building your social networking profile as a job hunting tool:
You need to build your social networking profile because it accomplishes two things:
- At a minimum, it gives recruiters insights to who you are when they visit your LinkedIn profile. It's like getting a free pre-interview. For all of the job seekers who say, "If I could only land an interview, they'd see how perfect I am for the job." - this is your chance to shine!
- Done correctly in your field of expertise, it will drive attention to you - this means recruiters start seeing (and chasing) you instead of the other way around. How great would THAT be?
Jim Keenan wrote a great book that explains why building your social network profile is vital in 2016. It's called Not Taught and you can read it in a day. The audience is salespeople, not job hunters. Don't get distracted by that.
Job hunters ARE salespeople and the product you're selling is yourself.
Buy the book, read it. Execute.
Start a blog, start a YouTube channel, write an eBook. Do anything that shows your expertise and engages your audience. What is your expertise? It's that thing you know more about than anyone around you. It's what excites you when you start talking about it and your face lights up and you won't shut up. It's what comes easily to you without even thinking. It's the thing you can do in your sleep like when Tropicana used to call my dad at 3 am and in a daze he'd tell them how to fix the machines so the orange juice could keep pumping. THAT? is your expertise.
Now. The time is NOW. Don't wait. Don't think about it. Don't chat about it with your friends, run it past your advisors or ask your spouse, children, neighbors, mailman, etc. Just do it. Pick a topic. Start creating quality content. For more motivation, read Steven Pressfield's book, Do the Work. Also a one day read.
If you want to blog, you can easily start one in LinkedIn where it's just called posting. Click "Create a Post" and get rolling. You can also use other mediums, but you should always always (written twice for emphasis) cross-post those other mediums to LinkedIn. For a blog, you can check out Wordpress, where you can get a free site in under 5 minutes. For a video blog you can set up an account on YouTube and start publishing from your iPhone, also 5 minutes or less. If you want to write an eBook, well..you'll have to Google that one because I haven't researched it yet, but I trust you know how to ask the google gods.
Whatever you do, crosspost it to LinkedIn.
Yes, I know I already said that.
Yes, it is worth repeating.
Recruiters won't be googling you, they'll be viewing your LinkedIn profile. Don't be contrarian here. Do what works.
Ok - now you've got a plan.
Within three to five days you can have your first post online and be building a following. Stop punching the "Apply now" button and start building your brand. Do it now.