This is part four of a four part series on ‘How to Differentiate Ourselves in a World without Resumes.‘
The final step in differentiating ourselves without the use of a resume is to expand our potential job set. In the first post in this series, I introduced this concept with the following:
Expand our potential job set – Many times we as upcoming college grads or young professionals become limited in the possibilities for our initial career moves. Why? Because we are either provided limited information from our colleges and connections, or because we have not done sufficient homework to understand the possibilities. With a new mindset and our brand new skill set, we can intentionally expand our potential career opportunities. There are plenty of ways in which we can apply our knowledge and training in the marketplace. We need to make it our job to find them.
Follow these three steps, and you’ll be on your way to opening up a whole new realm of career possibilities.
Step 1: Write down every job opportunity that is readily apparent to you based on your college degree. Now, set that list aside and remove it from your mind.
Step 2: Write down every opportunity that interests you or has nothing to do with your college degree. Alternatively, write down every unsolved problem in the world that interests you.
Step 3: Consider how your skills, training, and college degree could help you in pursuing the career opportunities that actually interest you. How might they apply to solving the problems in the world that most interest you?
So, what does this mean exactly? Let’s talk practically.
Just because I was an accounting major does NOT mean I have to go to work for one of the big four accounting firms. Every organization that has financial statements has the need for accountants, and accounting is a great basis for understanding the fundamentals for any type of business. This is just a small example, but the point is – there are far more opportunities out there than we are aware of.
Here’s an example of putting the three steps into action: I have degrees in accounting and banking and finance – both great technical business degrees, but working in the accounting or banking industry just does not interest me all that much. What DOES interest me is the leadership development and training space. So I’ve taken my accounting and finance background and applied it to starting the Living for Monday business.
How could you do the same thing? Could you take your English degree and become the website editor for a new cooking magazine? Could you apply your international relations degree to working in an international recruiting role for college athletic departments? The possibilities are endless, but we have to be open to them.
A college degree is great, but too often we allow our degree or training to limit the possibilities we allow ourselves to consider. In all reality, our degree simply gives us some area of training or knowledge and is meant to open more doors, not close them.
The harder we work to expand the possibilities in our job set, the more likely we are to differentiate ourselves in a world without resumes. And the more likely we are to find purpose and fulfillment in our work.