Developing the Business-of You
By Linda Van Valkenburgh

People find it helpful, at times, to gain a different perspective on things. Saying something a different way can cause it to resonate inside, setting off the light bulb and creating an “Aha” moment!  Recently, as I was working with one client, it occurred to me that perhaps another perspective to help people understand the current way to handle their search is to discuss it in business development terms, with the business being YOU!

The tools and techniques I recommend center around the fact that you are selling you and need to create a strategic plan to differentiate yourself and convey your uniqueness and ability to problem-solve to prospective employers. Discovering and weaving your skills and strengths into various marketing pieces defines your brand and creates the fabric of your career search. You wear this fabric at networking groups where you help others and garner the assistance of those that are able to provide the information that you require. You conduct market intelligence to figure out the companies or firms that fit within the paradigm of your search. You hold events, often at Starbucks, to meet people on a more intimate basis so that you can share information as well as learn about them and their needs, which is relationship building. It is often through these relationships that you learn about what is happening in companies and can find out the best approach to take in trying to reach the hiring decision-maker.  You constantly assess and evaluate what you are finding gives you success and what does not and use these metrics to continually modify and update your plan, which is geared to revenue and growth in the form of interviews and offers that turn into contract negotiations and ultimately signing the deal!