Target your dream job: one layer at a time

career change job search resources video - tips Feb 14, 2014

Video Transcript:

Hi, and welcome to our next Fireside chat. I'm Shannon Houde and I'm the founder and career coach for Walk of Life Consulting.

Today I would like us to get out a pen and paper and do what I'm going to call an onion exercise. And this is linked to what I call the sustainability onion that helps job seekers like yourself identify in three short minutes the type of role that you're going to want to be targeting next.

The outside layer of the onion is the global or next layer in local. 

Context that you might want to be working in.

So this is important to agree with yourself and define before you go out and start looking for new roles. Especially because if you're looking to solve environmental or social community issues at a.

Local level, you'll be targeting very different.

Organizations than you would if you're looking for big multinationals or organizations working at a global context. And you'll also be selling your skills and your abilities differently to each of those types of contexts.

So global, local, then the third layer down is your sector or industry. Keeping your options open on this level does not actually help you with your job search because we only get one chance now to write our personal brand in a LinkedIn profile and you will have a very different story to tell if you're targeting an NGO sector versus public sector versus private sector. So you will need to pick which general sector you're going to be targeting and then narrow down your industries as well within that. So is it going to be oil and gas, financial services, consumer goods? You want to be able to identify where your niche knowledge is in terms of industry as well.

So the fourth layer in on the onion is your function and that's linked to the skills or tasks or role that you're going to be filling. So that's what is the employer going to pay you to do? And that's important also in terms of narrowing that down to three. So is it going to be reporting? Is it going to be research, is it going to be analysis, is it going to be stakeholder, engagement, communications? What is it that you're actually going to be doing? What is the role going to be?

And then the final and core layer of the onion is around sustainability issues and the more of a specialist you can become, the actually more valuable you are in the market and the more able you are to promote your personal brand. So what are you passionate about and what are you knowledgeable about in terms of the issues that motivate you to be in this impact sector? So I would say examples would be waste water, human rights, maybe ethical trade. There's lots of different issues that are out there now in the social environmental area. So you need to come up with your top three that you feel you have expertise in, or at least a passion and interest in.

So good luck with your onion exercise. Feel free to put your comments on our website and or email me you have any questions, but hopefully that gives you some layers to think about so that you can get better focused on the types of organizations and roles you're going to be targeting.


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