One of the interesting things about looking for a new job is that jobs are often aligned to organizational hierarchies or specific positions. To be relevant, you’ll often have to describe the role or position you want. Many job seekers do this by stating they are looking for a “senior management role in finance in a consumer packaged goods company”. That’s all well and good, but it assumes that companies want to fill slots rather than to attract talent.
The truth is, I think, companies want to do both – fill existing, well-defined positions in the corporate organizational chart, AND attract talent that can help them morph to address new opportunities. Increasingly I think, boundary spanners who have skills that can cross organizational siloes or span a divide between say entrepreneurs and large corporations are going to be more valuable than people who can fill a defined position.
This makes job searching and even networking very interesting. When I first started contacting my network to discuss the people they knew and opportunities they were aware of, the network asked the logical question: what job or position are you looking for? You can imagine the feedback I received when I gave my contacts some of the “What I’m looking for” documented on the website. Increasingly I believe we need to find ideas or teams that engage our interest or passion and frame jobs around those skills. That’s not where many organizations are today – and I acknowledge that.
So, while I am seeking the right idea or team that aligns to my interest and passion, I am also responsible for helping connect my background and skills to the needs of the organization and the skills and responsibilities for the roles that exist, or to explain why my skills and experience may introduce the opportunity to modify or extend a current unfilled role. This means I have to communicate my skills and capabilities effectively, and I’m still learning to do that well. Several recruiters have been especially helpful in this regard.