Recipe for Success

Recipe for Success In the Free Agent Economy

Introduction
Are you ready to learn the truth about job search? Here it is: We're no longer operating in a job based economy. We have transitioned into a Free Agent Economy in which the strategies for success are completely different.

If you're attempting to find a job using conventional approaches such as sending your resume to companies and hoping to get interviews, you're likely to have a frustrating experience.

Am I being negative? No! I'm being honest, something that most career professionals are unwilling to do.

This does not mean that you are unqualified for the positions you're seeking. However, it does mean that you need to rethink your strategy and approach your career in a different manner. The aim of this article is to provide you with a recipe, i.e. a step by step method that will allow you to succeed in the new Free Agent Economy.

What is a Workable Method?
My definition of a workable method for accomplishing a goal is that it works most of the time. If a method works less than 25% of the time, or, if it takes a very long time to produce the intended result, it is NOT a workable method. You can ask any engineer and they will confirm this.

What is the Traditional Job Search Model?

  • Sending Your Resume and Cover letter to Companies
  • Applying for Published Job Openings
  • Searching for Hours on Job Boards
  • Seeking Help from Recruiters
  • Going on Interviews Hoping to get a Second One
  • Attending Job Fairs and Networking Events 

As shocking as this may sound, this is a model that is outdated and works too infrequently to be a workable method. Many people are aware of this but they cling to it anyway because they simply do not have an alternative. Since you are reading this, now you do!

People cling to outdated methods because they're terrified of admitting they don't have a real answer or solution. This includes recruiters, HR professionals, resume writers and other employment professionals. They may advise you to do the same things you've always done and they may even tell you the economy is getting better and jobs are returning. Not true. 

In fact, there is a great likelihood that jobs will get even more scarce in the months and years ahead. Ignoring this is very risky and will be dangerous to your (and your family's) financial future not to mention your self esteem and quality of life.

In the steps below, you will learn a real, workable method for locating, creating and solidifying profitable opportunities. Some of these may turn out to be traditional salaried employment and others may take different forms such as consulting, independent contract work, projects, partnerships, paid internships, freelance opportunities, etc. The bottom line is that they all have one thing in common—putting cash in your bank account. Isn't that what you are seeking?

Utilizing a Systems Solution
By embracing and applying the steps below, you will also transform how you think about yourself, your value in the marketplace, your communication and relationship skills and your level of confidence. You will no longer be at the effect of economic conditions.

This recipe is an example of a systems solution where all aspects of a situation are carefully considered. We do not use bandaids which aim to solve a large problem with a superficial, one dimensional solution.

I recommend that you save this recipe to your desktop and also print it out so you can use it as a checklist as you progress through your career transition process. If you'd like some assistance in completing these steps, we're available to help!

 

Step 1: Adopt a New Empowering Identity
Declare yourself to no longer be a 'job seeker' and stop telling people you are looking for a job. This is perhaps the most difficult step, but it is the most important.

There may be a temporary vacuum caused by not knowing how to think and speak of yourself but not to worry, this gap will be replaced very quickly with a new, refreshing and empowering sense of professional identity, one that restores a sense of clarity, dignity and sense of personal power to your life.

Declare yourself to be a problem solver, solution provider, fulfiller of unmet needs, consultant, advisor or mentor, whichever name appeals most to you. Choose a name you like and one that you can identify with easily. 

If you cannot think of a good name, brainstorm with your friends (or coach if you have one) but most importantly stop talking about getting a job and being hired. 

Labels are a form of branding or positioning which either open doors or close them. The employee label is often a limiting one that results in you giving your power away. This is ultimately damaging to your self esteem and self respect. 

If you feel you must continue to use the job seeker label, get yourself two hats, like two baseball caps. On one of them place the label "employee" and on a second one, place the label "The Real Me." Then, when you're functioning in the capacity of job seeker, wear the employee hat and at other times wear your Real Me hat. 

Be sure to confine your actions to the behaviors that are consistent with the hat you're wearing. Notice the feelings you have when wearing each of your hats. What are these feelings telling you?

Step 2: Get to Know the Real You
You will need to spend some time getting to know the Real You, the person associated with the Real Me Hat. With a good support system, like the one available in The Promise Game , you will find this to be a fun, exhilarating and immensely validating adventure. 

Your primary challenge is to let go of old outdated ideas and beliefs that no longer serve you and which are no longer effective in the marketplace. The world has changed and it is time to wake up.

Acknowledging the truth about this to yourself may be difficult in light of the fact that so many advisors continue to tell you to revise your resume yet again and to do more networking.

Networking is a meaningless term unless you know precisely what it means and you have the tools and skills to produce the desired end result. Without having all the tools and the needed coaching, you are likely to get yourself more frustrated. 

Key Principle: A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore, you need to find out which links in your chain (system or strategy) are strong, which are weak, which links continue to break and why. Without this knowledge, you will probly do the same things and get the same result. 

Step 3: Translate Your Accomplishments into Solutions and Value
You may be aware of your skills but still unclear how your skills, talents and experiences translate into solutions and value to organizations. Since it is critical for you to become clear and articulate about your unique value, it will be important to extract your unique problem solving abilities from your past experience and accomplishments. 

The easiest way to do this is to start with a recent and important accomplishment. Go back in time to just prior to your accomplishment happened and take a visual snapshot of the state of affairs in the organization or environment in which you were working. Then ask yourself: what were the chief problems or needs that existed? Write them down. 

Now fast forward to right after you completed your accomplishment and once again, take a snapshot of the situation and environment. Ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers.

  • What changed from one picture to the next?
  • How did the change occur? 
  • Utilizing a problem-solution framework, what were the solutions that made the critical difference? 
  • What previously unmet needs got fulfilled?
  • How did YOU personally create and implement the key changes or solutions? 

Instead of focusing on your talents and skills that you usually take for granted, focus instead on the value that you brought to the situation. Now continue this process with your remaining accomplishments. When you've done this exercise with the top5 accomplishments, take a step back and look for the pattern of solutions and value that you repeatedly bring to each situation. If you look closely, you will find this pattern. This will then become the focal point in your letter of introduction in step 6 below.

Step 4: Develop and Use a Letter of Introduction
Resumes are fine for job interviews (your employee hat) but for all other networking activities, we recommend that you use an amazingly powerful document called Your Letter of Introduction. The advantages and applications of this tool are vast. The longer you use it, the more you will marvel at its many applications and level of effectiveness. 

Even the act of writing this letter is transformational because it opens the door to a freely expressive channel in you which allows you to convey who you are, the greatest value you have to offer and what you're seeking. 

The Letter Of Introduction works equally well as a prelude to a serious business conversation and a networking interaction which can put you in touch with key people very quickly. You may want to have a few versions of your letter for different purposes. Learning to write and utilize a letter of introduction begins to awaken you to the world of effective marketing, something usually absent in most job seekers.

The Letter of Introduction has several main components which are as follows:

  • Opening paragraph to establish rapport and your reason for writing
  • A Second paragraph honing in quickly and powerfully on your major value
  • A short bulleted list of examples where you implemented solutions, validating your assertion
  • A Third paragraph briefly summarizing the most ideal projects for you
  • Final paragraph expressing why a phone (or skype) conversation would be beneficial to both of you. This is usually the intended outcome of the letter.
  • Important: Never use the words job, employment, interview, getting hired or salary anywhere in your letter!

In the Career Crafting program, clients acquire tools for writing and utilizing their letter of introduction.

Step 5: Identify Matching Problems and Needs
Once you know your specialty as far as solving problems and satisfying needs, your next step is to use all online and offline resources to identify potential sources of these needs.

A good way to start this process is by asking a series of marketing questions that will allow you to effectively hone in on your target market and speed up the process of locating key people that match your profile. Here are some sample questions to get you started:

  • What is your major targeted industry?
  • What is your ideal company or organization?
  • What are the primary problems or needs you've have identified which match your greatest strengths?
  • What are the people within organizations most likely to have direct involvement with these needs or problems?

Once you have answered these questions you can then start your search and sorting process. You may want to concentrate on LinkedIn to establish connections and also take advantage of industry specific networks and contacts.

Step 6: Use the Creative Conversation to Establish New Alliances

The Creative Conversation is one of the cornerstone tools in our Career Crafting program. You can download an introduction to this tool here. We recommend that you study it carefully, then begin doing some practice Creative Conversations with friends, colleagues and family until you feel comfortable with them. You will want to use your Letter of Introduction in conjunction with your newly acquired orientation of problem solver.

Step 7: Begin Conversations With People Matching Your Profile
As soon as you locate people who are connected to your target market or industry, it is important to be proactive, to reach out and make contact. If you have an inkling that a person has a need you can address, it is best to make contact right away but be sure to establish rapport and make a connection before diving into the specifics of the situation. 

You will find that you can share your goal and directly ask people for referrals to people and organizations that match your profile. Sending them your letter of introduction is usually ideal at this juncture especially if they give any indication of interest or receptivity.

Be sure you have a clear plan on how you are going to present yourself and the best way to interact with new contacts. You can work out these details with your coach if you have one and if not, you can do role plays with friends or family. The aim is to get comfortable and confident with your approach and get it refined to the point where you can carry the conversation forward to completing a financial agreement if appropriate.

Step 8: Complete Profitable Agreements With The Best Organization(s)
Once you have started a conversation and identified the need or problem which matches your area(s) of expertise, you are ready to move into negotiation and make something happen. 

This can be a very quick and straightforward process when you have really clicked and have what the person needs. In other situations it may take a few meetings to complete the deal.

Either way, you will want to be clear on the entire conversation and sales process and also clear on how you will take the person through the important steps. This is a stage where having a support partner or a coach for brainstorming is important. Role playing is the perfect tool for gaining clarity, skill and confidence in presenting yourself. 

Step 9: Utilize The Prromise Game™ as an Effective Support System to Insure Your Success
It is critical that you not undertake these steps in an isolated manner.

No matter what your circumstances may be, working in partnership with others will have profound impact and value.

Our Program called The Promise Game will empower you to succeed with these steps. It is free to play while we are still in a development phase. 

 

Feedback, Comments and Questions

I hope that these steps have been helpful to you. Please send me your feedback and questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This allows me to continue refining the materials so it helps more people!