3 Simple Ways to Create a Talent War for You

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According to Merriam Webster, a war is:

Definition of WAR

a (1) : a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2) : a period of such armed conflict (3) : state of war
b : the art or science of warfare
c (1) obsolete : weapons and equipment for war (2) archaic: soldiers armed and equipped for war

a : a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism
b : a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end <a class war> <a war against disease>

An executive hiring manager said to me last week and I have heard this a lot over 20 years in the career coaching area:

“John, all the candidates we get look kind of the same. We need stand outs. We need people who are willing to show and become something other than ordinary. It’s just hard to pick from all the people that apply. Truthfully we don’t know who to hire. Nobody we are fighting for right now.”

Do you really want an employer to “fight” for you or an interviewer to argue that they should look beyond the general skill set that everyone seems to have? Then that may take time and the building of strong relationships. Today’s market needs stand outs and those who are willing to be or become something different than average. How do you create demand for your skills, your capabilities and you? How do you create an excitement and a must need for what you can do for a company. To create a demand this powerful think about the things you thought you needed to have as a teenager.

Was it a girlfriend or boyfriend?

Was it a product that someone else had that you just had to have?

Did you have the song or set of music on your iPod that you need to to be cool?

Did you want to win in a sport or in an event so bad you did things that your peers were not willing to do?

Were you ever compelled to work harder than you ever had for a grade, to impress a parent or peer?

In all, what made you go so far out of your comfort zone to focus on the object(s) or object of your desire that you were willing to fight over it? If your desire was created by more than greed or some negative emotion you had what I would call a potentially noble purpose. It probably had to do with gaining the feeling that went along with that supposed need or desire. What feeling would possessing or accomplishing your goal give you?

Now, let’s fast forward. What feeling would be derived by you if a company or organization obtained your talent. What do you have and what kind of person do they get when they get you – regardless of your title or field. What are the must haves of any employer who must have you as a part of their team? How do you get an employer or an interviewer or even a networking contact to vouch for you, campaign for you or “fight” for you?

Here is a primer:
1. EXPLORE – Find out what that employer or hiring manager values above all else and even above the minimum qualifications.
2. BECOME – Ensure that you become the values, work ethic and kind of character that a winning team must have in the role that you will perform.
3. BE – Make sure that who you are becoming is in accordance with your high ethics and standards. Be willing to stand out, be creative, speak and act different than the status quo person they could hire.

None of these ideas may be easily developed overnight but to create buy-in advocates who will fight to get you in the organization you have to become something more than average.


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