This is the third and final part of a rather long answer I provide to a Greek student, wanted to work in the area of e-Learning in Greece, with the title:”Do You Want A Job Or A Career?“. I think the text I wrote then, as a reply, can provide a base for reference for people seeking work all over the world and value to their efforts. The respond structured to 3 different posts! This is part III. you can read part I here and part II here.

This is the last part of a 3-part article about the what do you want in your life: a job or a career? The things are not easy most of the times and you should be ready to choose, based on certain criteria.
Do You Want A Job Or A Career - Part III

3. “Re-Build” Your CV

Dear Niko, since you have defined your goals and the field of e-learning you want to work in, you need to “tweak” you CV to be compatible with the aims you want to reach. This is an important process, most people seeking for a work, usually forget!

It is basically an optimization process, aiming at magnifying the elements of you CV that are more suitable for the field you want to work in and to promote your “candidacy” in a more effective way! This step includes for you to:

  1. Review your CV and update it
  2. Isolate the elements (knowledge, skills, experience, etc) associate with the field(s) of work you are interested in, and
  3. Re-structure you CV focusing and emphasizing more the elements directly connected with your future work, and
  4. Review it, once more, in order to re-write it under the view of the new elements you have emphasized in the earlier phase.

As an example, if you want Niko, to work in the area of training content development, you should focus in you CV all the skills, experience, previous works, etc relate to development, writing, instructional design, management, etc.

4. Search the Area

If you have completed Niko, the previous steps, now it is the time to build a list of companies, that are “compatible” with your goals! Do the search via Internet, specialized magazines, connections, contacts, etc. aiming at compiling a small catalog of 10-15 companies in Greece (or in Europe, or in the USA, or anywhere you have selected to work!) specialized in the area you wish to work later on. From these companies, you should select only the ones you wish to cooperate with, omitting the ones does not are compatible with your work requirements (as location, size, complex administration hierarchy, etc.)

This step includes the development of a small spreadsheet including your final list of the companies you would be interested in cooperating with! In this list, you should also include contact persons, addressed, telephones, e-mail, and any other information would help you later to communicate with them! You should categorize this list in a sorting order by your interest for cooperation with, leaving a column for observations after each company.

When you finished this catalog, research any information you can find, for this small group of companies, via Google or specialized networks as the LinkedIn, etc. and complete your spreadsheet with information has meaning for you (i.e. enhance or lower your resolve for cooperation with the specific company).

Based on this observation re-order the companies in your spreadsheet in an order of the most interest to cooperate with, to the least interested for cooperation (for you)! This process would provide you all the necessary information for the companies you would want to focus on for future cooperation!

5. Pinpoint Your Search Area

After completing the previous step(s), you have a small, compact and focused list of companies, for cooperation with. Now it is the time to use all the results from the previous steps in a concise manner. At this phase you should, at least, have:

  • clear defined goals for your work area,
  • a clear decision on the area you want to work in,
  • a suitable, restructured CV, compatible with your working pursue,
  • a small spreadsheet of the companies (in the area) you want to work, in a sorted mode!

Having these “assets”, you should contact the responsible departments of the companies you have selected (usually the HR departments) and send your new CV along with an accompanied letter. In this letter you should include the reasons you are seeking cooperation with the specific company, the reasons made you send your CV to them, what more you can offer them professionally, all you contact data and everything other information you think as pertinent in your introduction to them!

6. Develop A Network

Competing the previous step, usually, is enough, to have a chance or two for a job interview. If the process has not provided you with a job opportunity, you should restart the process, taking more care at your goals, your knowledge and skills and the general condition of the market!

But even when you have already hired for a specific position in the company you have selected (and especially then, I believe) it does not mean that the process have ended. You see, the goal of this particular process is to make you think in a more flexible way in relation to the labor market. In our current, internationalized, market there is no guarantee for a permanent working position, and that fact dictates a more flexible mindset by the modern workers.

This is the reason, that the job and career directions are more even separated today than they were at the previous century. Today you have a job in a company or an organization but you have career (and experience, and connection and associates and collaborators in relation to all the positions you held in different companies, to all the projects you participated, etc.) in a working field!

For this reason you need to develop along with the skills, the knowledge and the experience required for effectiveness in the field you have selected to work, and analogous initiatives and activities in the area of professional social networks (as the LinkedIn is, for example). These activities might include new connections and contacts in you area, transactions and interaction with them, with groups of interest, posting of information and articles, etc. All you effort in the area of social networks, Niko, should be directed towards providing more value (new insights, approaches, ideas, connections, etc) to your field and to the people working in that field.

In this activity you should also consider and the contact with people of interest, mentors, coaches, contacts, collaborators and everyone might provide you with more opportunities for learning and interaction and deepen your understanding for the area you have select to work in!

7. Learn, Learn, Learn!

Last but not least, Niko. If you want to excel in your field you should always find time for more learning opportunities, catching up with the new developments in your field, interacting with people of influence in your particular line of work and providing more value to all the networks (personal, professional, social, etc.) you are associated with!

Well Niko, have you decide if you want a job or a career?