Are you ready to React or Effectively Respond?
How fast are you able to take action when an opportunity surfaces or a lead comes your way?
People say the first step to success (winning) is showing up. The next step is knowing how to play the game. Knowledge, strategy and timing are critical. (If you don’t have a strategy then please read all of my previous blog posts.) The third step is taking action.
Immediate responses are much more likely to bring results, but the key is in how well prepared your response is and how it is delivered. There is a big difference between an urgent, yet controlled response and a knee jerk reaction or over reaction. If you have done your homework, then you will have:
Researched the industry you are pursuing. The only way to present yourself well, either through a cover letter, or resume or during an interview is to have an understanding of the industry you are stepping into. That doesn’t happen overnight.
Researched the players. This means all the companies you might be interested in, in advance. Why? Because a last minute prowl on Linked In or Google cannot produce what you could have learned over time by contacting people in the company, long before a position is posted. Waiting until a posting appears is simply too late to learn about internal political issues, project failures, attitudes that have an impact on the role you are pursuing. Developing a strategy requires an awareness of all of that. Interviewing without background information, and having only a mission of getting the job leaves a candidate at an extreme disadvantage.
Prepared a “Master” resume. In order to quickly tailor a resume to fit each and every position you pursue, a detailed “Master” needs to be available to work from. Working from scratch will require too much time to carefully tailor carefully a resume in time to meet the demand of an urgent request. A sloppy resume or a “generic” resume will miss the mark.
Prepared a list of references. The time to notify your references is long in advance. Advise them of what you are looking at and why. Your list of current, relevant references should be ready to take with you when you are called in to interview.
Researched market information for salaries. You can count on being asked the money question. Know the market; know your value. Don’t wait until you get the question to think through your answer.
Resolved any unfinished projects/issues. If you need to go to work, then your house needs to be in order. Repairs to home, car, mind and body need to be completed. If there is anything at all that needs to be done that could interrupt your ability to report for work, then a plan needs to be in place before you interview. Schedule the dates and plan on how you can work around it, so that the needed time can be negotiated at the time an offer is made (not before!). If that is not possible, then you aren’t ready to go to work.
What have you thought of that might throw you into “reaction mode” rather than “response mode”?