by Dino Londis
How do we look for a job now? Typically we search for our job
title, in our geographic area, send our resume, hope for a call, rinse and repeat.
But why not search in other ways – like this: Take your skills and create a
unique position, the position you want, the position that is you. Then approach
companies where you want to work and pitch yourself.
Okay, I have to admit I haven’t tried this, but I keep
poking it from different angles and it seems to hold up. I think about my wife’s
small business as a photographer. If someone approached her promising more
clients, or offered to share resources to save money, she would seriously
consider it. She’s not advertising for help, but maybe she needs to be shown
Taking that as an example, you need to clearly show the
employer what you’re giving them, because they hadn’t thought there was a need it.
It’s a pitch, or a query.
Writers do this all the time. Publishers didn’t put out an
ad for a vampire-based romance novel. No, Stephenie
Meyer wrote Twilight and
submitted it to nine different publishers and, with the help of an agent, got
So what did she do? She wrote a novel, which set her apart. She
approached publishers that weren’t expecting to hear from her, got rejected,
but kept pursuing others until she got a yes. Now she’s doing what she has
always wanted to do.
IT might seem more constrained, but combine your soft skills
and your hobbies with your tech skills and you may be qualified for much more
than an off-the-shelf IT job.
This transition might work right where you are. You’ll
certainly get traction with your pitch because they know you. And if not there,
then similar niches may exist at similar companies. You’ll have to do heaps of
research, but the information is probably available online. For example, look on
Dice for jobs similar to the one
you’re trying to create.
If you’re currently unemployed, this is always another way
of introducing yourself to a company. Offer to work on a temporary basis, in
your newly created job, to prove your value. Even if you get rejected, you could
end up with new relationships. When hiring times return, they may think of you.
It would seem the best way to succeed is approaching small
to mid-size companies. Because larger firms
are saddled with the multiple layers of interviews and have already set their
budgets for the year, your sales pitch won’t translate well. You really need
one or two people to pitch this idea to – and need to be in a room with the
person who can say yes.
The only limit is your imagination and your courage to try. If
you pull it off, you’ll be doing a job you love – which would put you in
rare company. Only 16 percent of Americans love their jobs, I hear. You’ll
have little fear of job loss because it’s one of your creation. You may even
transition to consulting and find true freedom.
What do you think? Do you think it will work? Have you done
it? Let me know.
Dino Londis is an applications management engineer in New York.