It sounds simple, but it’s a key point job hunters often manage to overlook: Ending up with the career you want requires you first to look inside yourself and decide what tasks you’re interested in and where and with whom you’d like to work.
That was among the messages passed along Tuesday by Vickie Maletteri of MassMutual during her “Developing a Career-Specific Network” workshop in Austin Hall’s Robert Family Events Room.
Maleterri shared insights from the legendary career guide, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard Bolles. Bolles, 88, is a former clergyman whose book was first published in 1972; he’s updated it annually ever since.
Maleterri had the students attending the workshop do a Bolles-developed exercise called “The Flower.” She gave each student an 11-by-17 piece of paper with six numbered circles arranged as if petals on a flower and asked them to fill in the information asked for in each petal: 1, My Favorite Knowledge or Fields of Interest; 2, My Preferred Kinds of People to Work With; 3, What I Can Do and Love to Do (My Favorite Transferrable Skills); 4, My Favorite Working Conditions; 5, Level of Responsibility I’d Like, My Preferred Salary Range, Other Rewards Hoped For; 6, My Preferred Place(s) to Live (sooner or later); 7, My Goal, Purpose or Mission in Life (or my philosophy about life).
Coming up with the requested information helps a person make his or her career search more targeted.
Another Bolles-created handout Maleterri distributed featured an upside-down triangle that illustrated the way employers look for new workers is inverse to the approach most people take when trying to get hired. For example, many job seekers start by turning in a resume, while sorting through resumes is most hiring managers’ final (read: desperate) tactic.
Employers, Maleterri explained, would rather fill openings with people whose work they’ve already seen – because the candidate is a current or former employee, temp, consultant or contractor.
Bridging the gap between what most job-seekers do and what most employers prefer to do is effective, career-specific networking that infuses hiring managers with trust in their candidates abilities and potential.