How to Hack Your Career

“Hacking Your Career” in this case refers to any shortcut, skill, or method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of getting the desired outcome aka job”

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It was a Tuesday evening and I once again experienced that internal battle we all battle day to day. You know the one I’m talking about…I signed up for this thing a week ago and now that the day is here, I have to get on Cal-Train and make the 1 hour ride from San Jose to San Francisco.

But there I was in a room full of people from I imagine all types of careers and interests, at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco. The event’s speaker is the co-founder of GrowthX Sean Sheppard. The topic was “How to Hack Your Career.”

You could tell presenting in front of a big audience was cake to Sean Sheppard(wonder if he ever went to Toastmasters!?) as he easily naviaged the introduction and letting us know why he is there and why’s qualified to be there.

So how do we Hack Our Careers…

Step 1: Create Personal Vision

Not knowing where you’re going will ultimately lead you to a life time of drifting, never accomplishing anything.

Exercise 1: For starters, Sean’s company GrowthX Academy was kind enough to give a Personality Profile Test which you can take on their website HERE.

Things to be aware of:

  • suspend all inner doubts and pre-concived fears you have about yourself
  • write down what your “ideal” life would look like 5–10 years from now
  • review that vision you just wrote down and make sure you see it at least one a day (before bed is great, as you feed your subconscious mind)

Step 2: Creating Ideal Role Profile

Now if you’re in professional sales like myself, this resonated with you. Before you take the product to the market, you and your team create Ideal Customer Profile or ICP. Same thing here when it comes to landing your dream job.

Goal: Gain an understanding of what roles are available out there in various industries and different business functions.

Deliverables:

  • Type of roles that are out there (don’t limit yourself)
  • Primary responsibilities (don’t let this intimidate you)
  • Compensation packages
  • How will you be measured?
  • What are skills or attributes that are typically required (how can you learn them)

Step 3: Ideal Company Profile

Take a minute and think about the current company you’re with right now. Before taking their offer, did you really think about some of the things that we’ll discuss here. I know I didn’t!

How do you create your Ideal Customer Profile?

By taking a scientific approach the whole process. Be very granular when it comes to this.

What stage of the company do you want to work in? How about Industry (Fintech, SaaS, EdTech, Healthtech)…maybe it’s not technology at all, which is great but make sure you define that.

Knowing your personal standard of code when it comes to your career is something that will be with you forever. Working for a company that may have a great product, but doesn’t invest in you will ultimately hurt you in more ways than one.

Step 4: Research and Canvas

We’re getting into the meat of your decision criteria and where your “dream job” will ultimately be.

You are no longer Employee #453, it’s time to think of yourself as Inc. You are a BRAND.

In this stage, you are to find out the WHAT AND WHY of the following:

  • Company of interest
  • Your Personal Needs (i.e. Mentorship, Career/Growth Opportunities, Salary, Culture, etc)
  • Future Talent Needs (knowing if there are current roles available will help you develop your strategy)
  • Financial Risk of the Company (know their numbers)

Step 5: Create an Action Plan

Just like in sales when your manager is describing your company’s sales funnel, you are now building your very own Career Funnel.

Like Marshawn Lynch reminded us….he’s about it and so are you!

If you’re currently in sales and or marketing, setting up your career funnel should be piece of cake. Essentially what that means is that, it’s really a numbers game…like most things in life.

The more at bats you have, the better your results…provided you alter your strategy and not make the same mistake twice.

How to move down the funnel and create real opportunities aka interviews:

  • Use your network and get past “gatekeepers”
  • Aim for economic decision maker aka “The Hiring Manager”
  • Stand out by inviting people to coffee for information interviews
  • Go to MeetUps and network
  • Brand yourself by writing blogs about your industry or the job you want

Sean’s Pro Tips:

  • When meeting with prospects (people from your ICP), don’t tell them what YOU DO, tell them what YOU CAN DO FOR THEM. Personally I loved this.
  • Sean recommends that the LAST thing you do is apply online aka the Black Hole to be never heard from again.

So what did I learn:

  • There’s thousands of companies out there with thousands of jobs, but there’s only one of me — we just need to find one and not be obsessed or get down when we get rejected by our Ideal Company or Job
  • Your Job search is a JOB itself. Take it seriously and apply rhyme and reason to it.
  • Create a time line for yourself and an action plan of 30–60–90 days
  • Get an accountability partner to track your progress and help each other along this journey
  • Keep trying and don’t give up.

On a sidenote:

This was great on a personal level. I’m trying to build my brand and that starts with writing consistent high quality content. I want to skill up as a sales professional and will be contributing to my blog www.larisorman.com couple of times a week.

In the meantime, more than happy to link up and chat with smart and ambitious people. Email: Orman.Laris@gmail.com; Twitter: LarisOrman

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