Are you at a point in your career where you are “ready for next” in terms of job title?
Perhaps you are applying for a new position that is a level-up in title from where you are currently.
But much to your chagrin, the job description calls for someone with “insert # of years here” experience already in that job title.
It’s the age-old catch 22. You need the job to get the experience, but you need the experience to get the job.
Guess what? It’s up to you to make sure everyone else understands you are already doing this role at this level (even though you don’t have the title yet.)
Follow along, as we trip the system.
Step 1: Identify your dream job.
- Search LinkedIn for people currently in the positions/titles you are gunning for.
- Now search for job postings with your dream role/title.
- Note: If you need to peel the layers of the onion way back before you get to the first two bullet points, CLICK HERE to download a “Surefire Guide to Finding Your Passion.”
Step 2: Which job requirements do you already have under your belt?
- Out of the Linkedin profiles and job descriptions you just identified, pull out the job requirements, qualifications and responsibilities that you currently do (or have in your past.)
- Also take note how other people in these roles phrase their job descriptions. If it sounds sharp, you may want to rephrase how you list this in your profile. Sometimes one or two words make a difference in describing the same job function.
Step 3: Clean up your LinkedIn page.
- Your headline and summary should be reflective of the role/title you are going after.
- Add key professional achievements (from step 2) to your summary. Get specific with your wins. Add metrics.
- Now go through the last three roles in your job history. Spotlight the aspects of those roles that correlate with what your dream role requires (from step 2.)
- For example, if the Director of Operations role you are going after requires you to manage a budget, make sure you highlight anywhere in your job history where you had to manage a budget.
- When it comes to leadership, make sure your LinkedIn profile emphasizes your leadership qualities:
- What projects did you spearhead?
- How did you coach your team?
- What did you do to optimize processes? Drive growth? Cut costs? Etc.
- Now you don’t want to just add, add, add content. You also want to simplify. Cut the fat by deleting aspects of each role which won’t serve you towards securing a role a level-up.
Step 4: Minimize the gaps.
- When you were scanning LinkedIn profiles and job descriptions, which job responsibilities have you simply not accomplished yet in your career?
- Volunteer for opportunities to take on projects which would demonstrate these skills.
- Never stop learning! Take on new classes or certifications which will get you closer towards your dream role.
Step 5: Look for the stepping stones.
- If you aren’t getting upward mobility in your current organization, you may want to consider going after a smaller organization where you can gain experience with the higher title you are going after.
Step 6: Build your dream team.
- Network to seek out people who are currently in roles at the level you are going after. Pick their brains or conduct informational interviews to have them walk you through the steps they took to get where they are.
- Find mentors who are a level-up from the title you are going after. So managers, find VP’s who will share with you what they are looking for in a director and mentor you to get there.
- Bring on a career coach who will guide you through the process, keep you laser-focused, and hold you accountable.
Start chipping away now and before you know it you will be acting as if you already hold the title you are going for (which is exactly the sweet spot you want to be in!)
Reach out if you feel stuck on any of these six steps. I’d be happy to work through it with you.
Let’s do this.
Betty Kempa, CPC, ELI-MP, is a certified career coach helping corporate women transition out of unfulfilling jobs and into their dream careers.