How to look for a job…strategically

How to look for a job…strategically
Strategy is the “art of directing business operations”, and to seek employment, people are, in themselves, businesses that are placed for sale in the market. It is that simple, although the connotations of the subject call for other reflections.

There are certainly many ways to look for a job, but the most effective ones necessarily respond to formal technical criteria. At least if you want to be effective. The professional who makes employment a way of generating income for his life is also a professional when evaluating employment options. He seeks and uses whatever knowledge and process can benefit him in the task.

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Why strategic logic can help to find a job?

1.- The Strategy is the government system that deals with the Conflict.-

Its origins go back to military operations. From there he extracts his main experiences of him. In the professional and business world, conflict is determined by competition. And while in warfare the Strategy operates to defeat the enemy, in the latter it does so to win the favor of the client to the detriment of the competitor.

Succeeding in the job search endeavor involves prevailing over many competitors.

2.- The Strategy works in binary terms to evaluate its results.-

Positive negative; success-failure; victory-defeat; Black White. For her, there are no half-triumphs or partial defeats. And in the case of looking for a job, the evaluation is the same: what was sought was found or not found.

The Strategy is an ode to practicality, functionality, and pragmatism. Always favor effectiveness, even over efficiency. It focuses on the WHAT, not the HOW.

Looking for a job applies to this logic. Being practical and effective in it is essential.

3.- For Strategy, there is an enemy much more critical than the competitor, and an ally greater than any other resource: time.-

In strategic logic, this is solved simply: time must always play in favor and be an ally, it can never work against and be an adversary.

When time works in your favor, success has a high probability of being achieved, when it works against you, failure is guaranteed.

Applied to the job search, these fundamentals translate into the following:

  • Job seekers must DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES to be competitive and prevail over others.
  • To be practical and achieve results, you have to establish very well the OBJECTIVES regarding the job you are looking for type, particularities, perspectives, remuneration, etc.
  • The TIME available must be well defined so that the work campaign can be adapted to it. Likewise, the financial resources allow sustaining expenses while the search is carried out.

How can a professional BE DISTINGUISHED in the job search process in the job market?

You have to be clear about this: if the person does not have a distinguished profile, they will have to invest a lot of time and effort to stand out from the rest. Or he must have some extraordinary resource that gives him an advantage before the employer: a direct recommendation, friendship ties, a “cold” presentation, or finally luck.

The Strategy does not rule out anything that could be effective to achieve the purposes but emphasizes the need to build a profile that stands out in the market because it is the most solid and sustainable way to prevail over the others.

There is an advantage with “professional distinction”: it is not limited to the strategic campaign, it is an asset that stays with the person and is enriched over time.

At the ideal end of the scale are VERY DISTINGUISHED professionals. They do not have to strive to find a job, on the contrary, they receive offers to evaluate. At the other extreme are the VERY LOW-DISTINGUISHED professionals, and two things are true of them: they must make a great effort to look for a job and be willing to receive lower wages for their work.

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However, the idea is to tend toward the virtuous extreme. But the strategic criterion is also practical in this: it is necessary to distance oneself from the group of the “little distinguished”. This already gains a lot of ground, and there is a good starting point.

Professional life is long-term jousting, an endurance race, and DISTINCTION is patiently built over time. In this sense, professionals who have more work experience and can expose it to the market will always have better conditions.

Having something and being able to make it known to others are two different things. For the Strategy, the first is associated with the Product and the second with its Sale.

Lastly, beyond a specific job search campaign, a professional distinction must ALWAYS be cultivated. To the point of being in a place where one is no longer sought and is sought.

To distinguish yourself in the labor market, you have to expose what you are and what you know how to do.-

In this, there is also the conventional and strategic path. Because exposing is one thing and simply “saying” what is and what is done, is another.

The traditional resumes (the “curriculum vitae”) are more in line with the latter because they are a form of exposure but a static and inert one. No matter how much foundation or support they can incorporate.

Exposing who you are and what you know how to do to a large number of people is something that technology has made much easier now. There are all the necessary means for it. Who does not have the ability to write, can speak, photograph or film what interests him. And you can do it cheaply for as long as you see fit.

A carpenter can show his work just like an accountant or a lawyer. Everyone has the opportunity to present, before a large audience, what they are and what they know. The technology provides a stage and audience, you just have to start the performance.

It is a matter of imagining for a moment how a professional planned his exhibition in the 80s. Its reach depended entirely on physical means. The efforts were much greater, and the costs too. Now there are media available everywhere (although many continue to expose themselves the same as 30 years ago).

At this time ANY professional can have a Blog or video channel. You can build a “podcast” or a dynamic professional profile on countless specialized virtual platforms. The stage exists, and boy, in what dimension?

What is the problem?

Simple. Few make use of these scenarios. And much less with strategic criteria.

What’s more, the vast majority LEAVES them once they have found a job. For them, these means are like a “taxi”: it doesn’t matter after it has taken them where they want.

LinkedIn profiles are an interesting example of this. They show people who are very active during certain periods (exposing themselves in the eagerness of looking for a job) and then remain completely static.

It is as if the profile (which is an exponent of the professional capacity itself), were a “coat” that is used while going from one place to another, and after arriving it is “hanged” on a coat rack.

The professional who understands himself as his “ own business ”, does not abandon any scenario in which his knowledge is manifested and quoted. He never does. Because he understands that this is an absurd prejudice. Nobody goes through life hiding their identity from time to time, so why should a professional do it after having found, circumstantially, a job?

However, it was said that the Strategy privileges WHAT over HOW, therefore it is necessary to EXPOSE in the labor market to achieve distinction.

Show your work!

Show what you know how to do.

If it fits your skills, have a professional Blog and keep it active all your life. Show the world your production, and contribute! Write, talk, film, interact with others, comment, and participate in discussions. It doesn’t cost much, but it guarantees a lifetime of accomplishments. It’s about yourself, you’re not doing anyone else a favor.

And don’t do it just to look for a job. This will be a consequence of the above, a simple “collateral effect”. The exhibition of professional work builds distinction in the market and from this demand for services and valuation in remuneration.

Spend at least a fraction of the time you spend on Facebook (or the like), your LinkedIn profile, and other such professional dynamics. The fruits will be extraordinary in time. On the one hand, because few do it consistently and on the other, because there is a compound effect: the benefit accumulates over time.

However, many will argue that, unlike Facebook, it is more difficult to maintain dynamics in a professional network. And this is a serious problem. Because if you don’t know what to say or do in your professional profile, learning a trade and practicing it for a long time has been of little use.

Fortunately, this is not usual. Most people give up their professional exposure simply out of indifference, irresponsibility, or oddly enough because they already have a job.

An important note regarding the exposure, distinction, and construction of the competitive professional profile:

It is important to INVEST effort, time and everything that corresponds, in the exposure techniques

Many job seekers understand little of the importance of Investing to Earn, of sowing to reap. The higher the investment, the better the result. The best things do not come by chance, they are always the effect of effort and sacrifice. And this is what the logic of investing is all about.

There are countless elements of guidance and training for optimal exposure:

  • courses
  • Videos
  • tutorials
  • Conferences
  • Forums
  • advisors
  • coaches
  • Etc.

All of this develops expertise for mastery of the media. From the proper way to make a resume, to the way to position an article or a professional exposure video.

This is all part of the HOW. And it is available in abundance. Many things are at low cost, and others are completely free. In the first case, you will have to invest some money, and in the second, time.

To seek employment strategically, the OBJECTIVES must be well defined

When the WHAT is established as more important than the HOW, a direct allusion is made to the quality of the objectives.

In the job search process, these objectives can be of three types:

  • Very general. “I am looking for a job related to what I know how to do”
  • individuals. “I am looking for a job linked to my previous experiences”
  • specific. “I am looking for a job in a certain industry, a company, a geographic location, a salary scale, etc.”

Depending on the objective, the character of the EXHIBITION is defined.

If the search is rather “general”, the exposure of the professional profile and the production capacity must be related to the extensive knowledge that is possessed and the general experiences that have been accumulated.

Usually the general objectives seek to expand the field of professional practice, identify new possibilities or change experiences in relation to the previous ones. And for this the exposure of the profile has to be as wide as possible.

In the Blog or any platform that is being used for the exhibition, generic knowledge must be provided. Emphasizing, where appropriate, specialization, knowledge, and distinguished experience held.

The Life Document must establish the above, and emphasize that the objective is to find something new and/or expand the field of professional practice. For resume purposes, the best lie is always the truth. Therefore, the objective that you have must be openly considered.

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Searching for a job involves achieving a two-dimensional objective: the job as such and the associated salary. Not to forget it! This is like going out to fish for a certain type of fish and a certain size. The variable that defines the search is the fish, but if it does not have the size or weight that is sought, the desire is incomplete.

It is the same with employment: it can be found in the desired form, but without the salary aggregate that is sought. To avoid this, the search objective and the type of exposure should be as specific as possible.

In the case of “private” searches, what is usually intended to be found is a job that is linked to previous experiences. Return to the type of activity developed previously.

Here the exhibition should emphasize the EXPERIENCE that is possessed. In detail and professional particularities experienced in previous jobs. In the Blog, forums, debates, and any instance of exposure, the experiences lived must be emphasized.

Private searches have an element that gives them a strategic advantage that the other two do not have: in the presentation of professional experiences, reference can be made to previous employers, companies, brands, projects, work teams, etc.

Example: “When these challenges were addressed in the XXX company, the work teams were arranged in the following way, the schedules in this other way, and the supervision was done in this way.”

The means of exposure that exist now allow this type of description to be made without questioning professional ethics. Things must be done wisely, of course, but modern work dynamics demand references of this kind.

Once again, the professional must be aware that he is a business in himself, and that he has every right in the world to maximize his results. When it self-limits the exposure of experiences associated with previous employers (or agrees with them in that way), it becomes a Business forced to work with certain clients exclusively. And for this to be justified, those clients should pay very well for the services received.

Pro payment “for exclusivity” is not given in employment. Therefore, the professional has every right to use for his benefit the experiences that he has accumulated in all his jobs.

Private searches often occur in competing organizations, and for this reason, the exposure of all the experiences that have been had is more valuable.

Finally, the specific objectives to looking for employment. These are the most interesting processes because they are associated with specific professional growth.

These searches are not limited to high-profile or highly experienced professionals. They can also be done by new professionals who want to give their careers a certain direction. Whatever the case, this search demands an exposure of a tactical nature. And this is different than previously seen.

Specific searches target certain jobs and employers. To certain organizations, areas or positions, and possibly, specific salary compensation standards.

The professional who has these objectives must know the prospects very well. He must study them. Be aware of the moment when the demands arise to incorporate new professionals, how the calls are made, what factors are qualified and how, who does it, how long they take, etc. You must investigate everything!

Does it seem unorthodox? It is not.

From the point of view of the Strategy, it is something completely conventional, and the most logical thing that exists. If a professional has a specific employment objective, he can invest time and resources in learning EVERYTHING he sees fit in his prospects. The more he knows about them, the greater his chance of success.

Now, the exposure to specific prospects has to be tactical, this is “contact”. When looking for jobs like this, the “public” dynamics (blog, LinkedIn, forums, associations, etc.), is only a formal endorsement.

The work must be done through close contacts and personal approaches. It’s the same as doing a corporate sale. It is necessary to generate appointments and spaces to expose products and services. Visits, meetings, invitations, etc.

None of this is out of place! The professional looking for a job is a business looking for clients. And in this case he searches for them selectively.

If it is necessary to visit the companies more than once, it is done. If you have to have meetings with several people on different dates and places, you have them. In all cases, the desire to be part of “that” professional team when the conditions arise is frankly exposed.

If you can be friends with someone in the Organization, so much the better. Because that relationship increases the chances of recognition at the right time. If there is the possibility of establishing contact with secretaries, receptionists, messengers, etc., great because these people are always well informed of what is happening inside the institutions.

This work does not have to be done with a single Organization, it can be more. But as it is a specific search, it is not convenient for there to be too many, because you can lose focus.

You have to be careful not to be impertinent, of course. But persevering and insistent, always! This is a business, a game of supply and demand, nothing personal. And from a strategic point of view, persistence has one important thing going for it: it eliminates competitors. Because not everyone has the patience to sustain efforts like these for long.

To strategically seek employment, TIME must be an ally, not an enemy

The worst thing you can do is fool yourself on this subject. Time is a fundamental factor. Either play for or against. This is the character it has for strategic logic.

If the objectives have been well defined, the actions are correct, and time is not against you, the probability of achieving what you are looking for is enormous, whatever it may be, or whatever size it may be.

If some of the most important results in personal and professional life are evaluated, it will be verified that many failures and dropouts respond to the time factor. Warren Buffett explains it well when he affirms that there is no bad investment if the art of long-term management is mastered.

Looking for a job responds, obviously, to the need to generate income. And when this timeline has an inflexible limit, it determines the success of the campaign. As time limits approach, any result is better than “zero.” Correct?

But this reasoning, despite its logic, contains a trap.

In the rush to solve a short-term income problem, many people take a low-quality job (one that doesn’t fit their goals), only wasting even more time. Because the one who lasts the “low quality” job, plays against what he is interested in.

The Strategy of 3 Plan “A”, 1 Plan “B” and 1 Goal “C” is to search for employment based on time limits.-

Take into account the following strategic premises

First: the Strategic Mind does not operate with the logic of “plan B”, it works with many “plan A”.

Second: a lifelong Strategic Principle requires making victory the only option.

Third: under the logic of the above, the dilemma is plan “B” or burn ships.

To work with the time limits in the effort to search for employment, these premises must be reflected in the following way:

Note: the registration of objectives according to time does not alter the classification of general, or particular, rather it is included in any of them.

The employment OBJECTIVES (general, particular or specific) should be divided into three periods of time: one for the ideal objective , another for the very good one and another for the good one .


  • Ideal employment objective: “X” weeks. Plan A1
  • Very Good Employment Objective: “Y” weeks, after the previous one. Plan A2
  • Good employment objective: “Z” weeks, after the previous one. Plan A3
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All three are plans that have category A. And each one is adjusted to a certain period, the same one that activates the next one at the end.

It is understood that the best scenario is to find the Ideal job within the period defined in plan A1. But if this is not achieved, the “second best” is plan A2. And finally, given the pressure of time, the A3 plan is activated to target the “Good” job.

So far, no emergency plan is activated. The three A plans consider first-order actions and resources. They only differ in terms of the objective they pursue.

The interested party assigns a defined time to plan A1, another to A2 if the previous one had failed, and another to A3. Any of the “A” plans that is successful must be understood as a positive result: ideal at the top end and good at the bottom.

The purpose of this is just strategic caution, the desire to conform to the binary criteria of evaluation of results: success-failure; victory-loss. The Strategy well understands that if an ideal objective is not reached (for whatever reason), in a certain period, efforts must be directed towards an alternative one.

This is managing the criterion of effectiveness and practicality.

The time to look for a job in the logic of plan “A”, has to be divided into 3 scenarios.

Now, be very careful about this: Don’t fool yourself with the times! Having 3 plans A does not activate any magic formula. If the time allotted to them is unreasonable, nothing will be achieved. There is a Strategic Principle that must not be violated: the balance between ends and means. Time is a “medium”, a resource; and if it is not in balance with what you want to achieve, nothing will be achieved.

If none of the Plan A has been successful, it is appropriate to evaluate Plan “B”. This could be in the form of a job that falls short of the “good” category (much less “very good or ideal”), but isn’t bad either.

Searching for this “regular or average” job must respond to a plan “B” that is executed after plan A3 has failed. Plan “B” must have ANOTHER period assigned. What is being exposed is added to the investment in the 3 plans A.

And finally, there is plan “C”.

Plans A and B are aimed at looking for a job. Plan “C” is a financial forecast. If the efforts aimed at getting a job have not been successful in the allotted period, there must be contingency measures that allow things to be reassessed and what comes next.

The need not to deceive oneself becomes much more important in plan “C”. Financial resources (or related measures) are needed to sustain themselves while no income is generated. And plan “C” should consider them for a good period.

Now, at this point, it is advisable to specify something:

The person looking for a job must have a financial budget for subsistence and expenses that allows them to navigate the process. No more than 40% of this budget must be allocated for the implementation stage of plans “A and B” and at least 60% for the plan “C” stage.

This is due to a common-sense consideration. The safety net is a last resort, necessary when everything planned has failed. It is not a resource that gets involved in the first actions.

When you are in the process of looking for a job (Plan A and B), the person must have all personal and family expenses reduced to the maximum possible. It is not convenient (unless there is a comfortable financial condition), to maintain a rate of expenses equal to that of a stage in which there was income. The process must be faced with an austere budget, but one that provides a minimum of peace of mind to work well in the search.

Then, if plan “C” needs to be considered, the funding budget should schedule several weeks (or months) for its development. Because in stage “C” there will be many structural aspects to be evaluated:

  • Will a new job search campaign be enabled? Is another cycle equal to the previous one?
  • Will options other than employment be evaluated: ventures, self-employed businesses, etc.?

Plan “C” decisions are not easy, which is why they need the most of the available funds.

Another important precision:

The total time for plans A, B and C must be considered from the beginning, as well as the corresponding budgets of money.

Strategy always plans for emergencies and surprises. Leave nothing to chance as long as possible. Napoleon said about this: «Military science consists first of calculating all the opportunities well, and then taking into account exactly, almost mathematically, chance. Chance thus remains a mystery to mediocre minds.

There is a range of time (and the use of the term “range” is propitious), from the start of the actions of Plan A to the (foreseeable) end of Plan C. A single period, and corresponding money funds to bear it.

Looking for a job in a business

And it develops like this: expose a distinguished factor, establish precise objectives, manage time in favor, and organize the resources (especially financial) for the entire process.

This it is!

Looking for a job should not be taken as an “every man for himself” process, and cannot be put into practice based on “contingency” criteria and/or self-deception.

Those who professionally seek employment, take this path to generate the income they need in the life they have chosen. Many will say (including the author of this article) that employment is not necessarily the best option for professional or financial development, but it is an important option, and it must be worked with order and seriousness.

The “employment professional” (if that’s what it can be called) manages very well the logic of the time that can exist between one job and another and the contingencies that this entails. He knows how to manage his debts well, because they are possibly the biggest trap for an employee, especially if they are for current consumption.

Has defined financial budgets that cover income contingencies. He is an expert in all savings mechanics and flexible personal and family spending structures.

Living from a job, or from many over time, does not mean that it is done without quality guidelines regarding salaries and relations with employers. Neither do those periods “between jobs” constitute a permanent reason for anxiety or uncertainty. The “employment professional” knows that they are a natural part of the dynamic, a factor in the game. As storms are to the sailor.

A different thing is to take employment under the criteria of social convention that presents it as the “only safe way” to generate income and survive. That logic is more in keeping with the character of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century than with the era of the “ democratization of employment and the transnationalization of labor relations ” that is already fully active.

A new precision:

The Strategy for seeking employment in transnational labor relations that characterize this time “Post Pandemic COVID – 19” is different from the conventional approach, and has not been discussed in this article.

Every employee is a Business in itself, an entrepreneur in the work that he provides to third parties, and a professional in every sense of the word. This is how you face the challenge of looking for a job, and in this, the Strategy can help you significantly.


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