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Market Your Assets

In our business as career consultants, it is not at all uncommon to hear a person confess that they really dislike their current job but it is all they have ever done. They feel they have no other marketable assets so they often resign themselves to remaining in the unpleasant situation or at best, jumping into a similar position at another company with the same frustrations at a different address. A fresh new point-of-view offers hope and encouragement.

Most of us actually have a number of attributes that can help us avoid a trap and allow us to control our business future. A prospective employer can and probably will, evaluate us on a number of criteria, many having little to do with our past experience or previous job titles. Certainly experience and quantifiable accomplishments from your employment history are important factors in your personal marketing strategy. But if they were the only points of consideration, no one could ever change careers or even get started in the work force.

Take a long hard, objective look at yourself and discover some new marketable skills.

Your knowledge is a marketable commodity. Even without direct experience, you can obtain a great deal of specific knowledge on an industry or company through a variety of sources: trade journals, personal hobbies, life-long interests, advertisements, annual reports, etc. Combine this interest and acquired knowledge with basic business skills and you have a lot to talk about. I recall a food industry executive being employed to head up a real estate development operation. The developer was impressed by the homework the candidate did on the company, but also with their sense of organization, people skills and attention to detail, even though they were developed in a technically unrelated industry.

Your personality is marketable. Many employment decisions have been based on how the interviewer and applicant "get along." When an employer meets you, he or she could be thinking, "Here's a positive, quick thinking, self controlled person... probably could pick things up quickly and be profitable to me in a short period of time. I like this person and better still, I trust him. I want him on my side." This line of thinking can come solely from your sincere, pleasant personality.

We often hear of pure enthusiasm playing a key role in the hiring process. A high level of basic excitement and energy can make you quite memorable in a sea of applicants. A company President recently mentioned to me that the last person he hired did not have the most extensive credentials, but no one had even a tenth as much enthusiasm and drive. Upon that, he based his decision.

Can you market your appearance? Certainly, because every person with whom you interview, views you, either consciously or unconsciously, with an eye toward how you will represent their company. They want their people to make a positive first impression and this often is established in the first thirty seconds of seeing you. Obviously, appearance goes far beyond a well-pressed suit or stylish dress. We all notice a person's hair, shoes, fingernails, clean glasses, fresh breath, appropriate makeup, etc. Arriving early for an interview affords some time to visit the restroom and check on all important visual signs of professionalism.

If you are a bit short on specific job-related experience for an employment opportunity, take a close look at all the other marketable attributes you possess. You may be surprised at how many qualifications you can bring to the meeting.

Source: The SciWeb Career Center

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