small change: your 7-step job search plan


small change 


Ciarán Fenton

How small changes in your behaviour will have a big impact on how you work, lead or follow

That’s the working title of a book I’m writing, initially as a series of short blogs.

Blog 1 small change: seven principles

Blog 2 small change: your career is a unique business

Blog 3 small change: your soft balance sheet

Blog 4 small change: your D Liability

Blog 5 small change: your timeline

Blog 6 small change: your formative years

Blog 7 small change: your A asset

Blog 8 small change: your career equity

Blog 9 small change: your curriculum vitae

Blog 10 small change: your emotional intelligence

Blog 11 small change: your reputation

Blog 12 small change: you, three years from now

Blog 13 small change: your purpose, strategy & behaviour (PSB)

Blog 14 small change: your soft p&l

Blog 15 small change: your 7 career options

Blog 16 small change: your relationship grid

Blog 17 small change: you are not a human capital asset

Blog 18 small change: your 7-step job search plan

small change

Seven principles

Principle 2

Organisations are more likely to hire you if

  • you’re the least risky
  • not, necessarily, the best


Blog 18  small change: your 7-step job search plan

your 7 step job search lan

Step 1 Start with humility

“I tick all the boxes,” many clients say.

No, you don’t, I say.

No one ticks all the boxes.

Your targets don’t even know all “the boxes”.

They make them up as they go along or they can’t say what they are because they are illegal (race, sex, age, religion) or they have an unconscious (or conscious) bias against you for whatever reason. So,

  • Know that you don’t know what you don’t know about a job search.
  • Looking for a job is a full-time job
  • If you can’t do it full-time, accept that downside.


Step 2 Word-perfect “purpose” (P)

“I must keep my options open,” many clients say.

You must not, I say.

The opposite. You must narrow your options. Focus is key.

Write a word-perfect purpose statement on your chosen option.

That’s a hard statement to craft. Give it time. No pain, no gain.


Step 3 Stick to one strategy (S)

“I’ve decided to ‘go plural’,” says a client.

“Great, ” says I. “So that means you won’t be looking at job adverts then, yeah?”

“Well, it depends. If the right thing were to come along…”

That’s two strategies. Neither will succeed, fully. You wouldn’t tolerate two strategies at work so why tolerate it in the business of your career?

Jobs are like Godot. You wait for them to “come along” in vain.


Step 4 Decide on behaviour (B)

Decide how you will behave during your job search whether you are writing a covering letter, networking or at an interview. What impression do you want to give which reflects you?

Stick to your behaviour plan.

The market has a gimlet eye for behavioural inconsistencies. It takes sinful pleasure in catching people out.


Step 5 (re) Learn marketing

Since your career is a unique business all the art and science of marketing applies to you. Use it. Learn or re-learn the 4Ps:

  • Product (service)?
  • Price?
  • Place?
  • Promotion?


Step 6 (re) Learn selling

There are three steps in selling during a job search:

  • What does “the buyer” need and why?
  • Can you demonstrate, rather than assert, that you can meet that need?
  • Can you close the gap between the buyer’s objections and “a deal”?


Step 7  (re) Learn how to buy

When you have closed the deal, start buying.

The fancy word for this is “due diligence”.


Which step is the most challenging for you? Why?


Ciarán Fenton






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s