We continue the conversation with the guest panelists and participants. We talk about how to reposition, reset and rethink your job strategy especially when the external environment has a greater supply of candidates than a demand of jobs. Tune in to the conversation to hear more!


00:07 Paola Granati: Hello, everyone and welcome back. This is part two of The World of Work live event. This live event, which took place in October, and it was really wrapping up the first season of The World of Work where the focus was on what to do if you are out there in the job market, which we do realize it is a complicated market out there. It's probably much more supply than there is a demand at the moment. So based on that, what are the some job strategies that you need to rethink, redo and maybe reset your expectations. So we continue the conversation with the guest panelists and in particular now, it is with Sunita Malhotra, talking about practical tips on what to do when you're repositioning yourself. Let's tune in.
00:53 Sunita Malhotra: So the first is, preparation. Preparation has three aspects to it. The first is figure out for yourself what your skills and competencies are and I call this bucket or circle, if you will, can do. "What can I do? So, what are my skills and competencies?" Because now the market is looking much more at skill sets. They're not looking at jobs. They're looking at skills and experiences. One very, very simple way to do that, very simple... Take a blank sheet of paper, write your list of accomplishments, things you're proud of, things you've done, literally from your childhood. My earliest memory is six, when I did something good and I was proud of. It sounds weird what I'm saying, but trust me, if you'd... And I've done this, so I know it works. If you write this list of accomplishments, from that you can pull out those skills and competencies, you will be surprised. You will think, "Oh my god, this was so obvious to me and oh there it is, "so it's a trend.
01:50 SM: So first, things you can do, many other ways to do it, but figure out your skills and competencies. Second, what is it that you want to do? This is that perfect moment to say, "What inspires me? What drives me? What's my passion?" Simple, blank sheet of paper, I love blank sheets of papers. Left column, what I love doing, what I can do 24 hours a day. Right column, what I absolutely hate doing and I will not do it, I'll never want to do in my life. Something to figure out what you want to do, that's a second. And the third is, "Who am I?" And I'm not gonna give you long lectures and value propositions and personal brands, there's loads of stuff on Google but, "Who am I? What is it that I am bringing to the table? Why me versus somebody else?" Thinking about that, and there are many, many ways to do that. But also, "What are my constraints" and we have to be realistic, sometimes it's a geographical constraint. Nowadays, there could be a financial constraint. So, what is it that if am I the only breadwinner in the family? Do I need to think about certain things? So, that third bucket is about who am I, but also what are my family and geographical, financial constraints, if you will.
03:01 SM: So what I can do, my skills and competencies, what I want to do, what my constraints are. The beauty of it is, that's the sweet spot. If you find the intersection of these three circles, if I picture them as a circle, that's the sweet spot. Once you figure that out, then you can just begin to build scenario. So, a scenario could be, I've been in the corporate life, I wanna continue in corporate life in the same industry. Another scenario could be, as Paola, I think very nicely said, she's at a stage in her life where she says, "I wanna be an entrepreneur and I'm testing up the market, and I'm trying something different." I know of somebody in my family who said, "I wanna do a startup, let me try that out." And it's endless because the market has flex things, virtual jobs. There's again, loads and loads and loads of research of... How the world of work is changing. So think of scenarios. Once you've done that, you're prepared. Okay, so that's first step, done. Check. Not so easy of course, it's hard work. It will probably take you a lot of time to actually do that, so invest, invest in yourself.
04:09 SM: The second step is targeting, and when I say targeting... Let's take a concrete example. If one of your scenarios is, "I'm in corporate life, I'm somewhere in the mid of my career, and I wanna continue in big corporate," then your scenario, your targeting starts with three things. Again, I love three things, as you can see. The first is target the list of industries. So what are the industries that you want to work in or might like to work in and what do you not want to work in. Now the not sometimes it's fascinating because it's very easy for us as humans to know what we don't want. Some people may say, "I don't agree with a gun industry, so I don't wanna work there", so simply again, what you want, what you don't want, but a target list of industries. Then from that, you can draw the target list of companies, very concretely saying. If I wanna work in the fast-moving consumer goods, I would like to work for Coca-Cola and I definitely would not like to work for P&G. So, target list of companies.
05:07 SM: And then most importantly is the target list of networks. Now networks, and there's a whole podcast on that. You can watch that... Watch part one and part two, right Paola, done by Paola, me and Susan. But simply networks is people you know. The obvious ones that are around you, recruiters, we have some already online, so all these... How many people are online now? Irina? 23, 25, today? 
05:34 Irina Bouras: We have 28.
05:35 SM: Yes. 28. So that's my call to fill in that Excel sheet because you just have 28 people multiplied by however many people we know. People you know, recruiters and social media, I mean that's a world out there. I know Irina is the millennial generation so she'll share more about it and Andreea. So there's LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, you name it, telegram, and I'm losing track myself. So, targeting industries, companies, networks, so that's the second step. Now you're prepared. You know your target. Hard work, hard work, guys and ladies and gentleman, I say because this is half the work and there will be moments where you will pull your hair out and you will say, "Oh my God, I'm not getting into the sweet spot." That's cool, because from chaos will come confusion, but you need to prepare, you need to invest because if you go slow, to go, you will go really fast. Trust me, and I'm saying this, having done it myself, having seen many of the execs but also younger people that I work with, having done that. So that's step two.
06:42 SM: And then the third, networking. I won't bore you with all the details, but again, three things. First, be very clear on your outcome and your objective. Networking is not about, "Oh, I wanna find a job." Be very clear on what you want from the network. It's a give and take. Paola is today, a friend of mine. I worked with her in Philip Morris. She's a friend. She's become my network 25, 30 years later. Did I know that at the moment? No. But there was a lot of give and take in the relationship along the way, so that's second. And third, remember, a network is not one person. So, I might know, I don't know, millions of people. Irina knows another million. That's your network. So it's not the four or five people that you choose, it's the people they know. So, be clear on the outcome, give and take, and again, it's a much broader network then you have. And now that you have your preparations, you know your target, you have a sense of your network, what do you actually do with the network, and this comes a little bit to me, very soon I'm gonna turn the word over to Irina, about how do you stand out? How do you shine? 
07:52 SM: I don't have all the answers, but I have two or three, very concrete examples of what I've seen people do, that works effectively. I've seen people actually read all the media that there's been out there, figure out an issue in a company. So example, you wanna work with Coca-Cola. What's going on for Coca-Cola at this moment that's a burning issue for them and there are many ways to find that out. Through your social networks, through LinkedIn, through... Yeah. You name it, websites. Find a way you can add value on that specific issue. In your network, try and find somebody through LinkedIn or other media, who is involved in that issue and have a conversation. So it becomes very specific, it's about an issue that's on the mind of the company itself. It's a fantastic tool, trust me because sometimes there are no jobs but I think as Paola said, they will create one for you and I'm saying that also from my HR experience. They'll say, "Wow! We didn't actually have that job out there, it's not published out there but it was a hidden job, we were thinking about it." So there are lots of hidden jobs out there, so you might just have that first.
09:01 SM: And then the second, CVs. Great. We are still in the CV world. Yes, we use recruitment agencies. Thank you. Keeping many of you in jobs, but what is eye-catching? What really stands out? And two examples that struck me. One was, I've seen Amazon does it but I know many other companies do it, they don't want CVs anymore. They want a commercial, they want a YouTube video, they want to know who you are in a YouTube creative, innovative manner. Okay, there are many other companies that ask for those kind of things. So, how do you stand out? The one that I love is, somebody actually, during a network conversation, did a metaphor and he said... He said, "You know, I'm a bottle of wine." And this was during a conversation obviously but he also made a little video and posted it on LinkedIn and he said, "And now I need to decide whether I'm the nice wine, or you know, which is 15 years old, or I'm the average wine that you drink quickly." So, what is that? What kind of wine am I, and that's really the skills and competencies, what am I offering? The label on the bottle is my CV, so that's all the ingredients that you see on the back side of the bottle, what's there, which region does it come from, what are the other things that have gone into making of it, so that's the CV.
10:20 SM: The consumer is identified targeting. Whatever is in Switzerland and the other country, or is it that specialized wine shop where I want to position. So, that's targeting, that's about the company. What's the price of my bottle, how am I actually pricing this? Is it a cheaper wine, is it... Where am I... And this goes, to a little bit of, I think what Karin said, unfortunately, these days in the market, sometimes you do have to take pay cuts, but again, you have some other benefits. So, what's that? And then, what's the culture of the company? Am I... Do I wanna be in a company that drinks the wine and just closes the bottle and dumps it, or the one that sits there and sips it and tastes it, etcetera. So, I thought this was cool, it's something around the six Ps of marketing. So, whatever is your way, find it, prepare, target, network and then use those networks. And I love this subject, so I can go on forever and that's not the aim because there are many more voices on here, so...
11:27 PG: Yes. [chuckle]
11:27 SM: Forgive me for getting away from you.
11:29 PG: We love you for that, we love you for loving it, and I'm sure people could always connect with you afterwards that but I do wanna share in the meantime the results of the poll, in terms of... We've had at about 70% of the people responding, and it's a fairly, less than six months is the majority of the people... If they are on the market, so it's less than six months that you have been looking for a role. But more interestingly, Sunita, linked to a little bit of what you were saying, and I'm not sure if people can see the polling results here, but the number one, if I were to say, what's the number one part of the job strategy process where people would really like to get better at, it is what you were also mentioning before about the networking, but also networking with the right people. Right at the moment, you are able to make your lists and make your analysis and find your sweet spot, then that's the moment to start activating the right network, and then how to do that, that I do encourage you as well, to listen to the podcast with Sunita and Susan, because I think it does give valuable inputs, especially in terms of having an objective in mind when you are networking.
12:37 PG: But while you were speaking, I've had a call, a call... Not a call, 'cause you could see, I was not on the phone, but I've had a chat question, which I will try to articulate as well, there are some jobs that are not necessarily standard jobs out there, and they could be more creative jobs. Jobs that don't necessarily either come on a LinkedIn application, don't necessarily come with a job title, don't necessarily come with a job description unless you may wanna call it graphic designer, or you wanna call it creative director, or you wanna call it... Again, out of your typical industry type of jobs, what would you recommend... And this is for everyone, actually, how to position yourself, if you have these multiple types of skill sets that ultimately land within creative, whether... It's too simple to say graphic design, but it tends to be boxed into a job description. How do you move out of that box? How do you position yourself as an experienced professional, creative director that can actually spend their skills in different areas and in a different type of job, how do you break out of some of the rigid paradigms that we find in job descriptions and job titles? 
13:55 Karin Wierinck: It's not an answer, but my immediate reflection when you say this, Paola, is that in a world where flexibility and agility is one of the buzzwords and where companies are asking for that, I think that if you have quite diverse experience and you've done different things, I think this is a significant asset. Because what will you do? You will bring the experiences from your backpack to bear, and if you have quite diverse experiences, then you can integrate and inter-link. So if that is your situation, then I would really think about, okay, what has brought me to this point that I have this diverse experience, what do I really love and what are my selling points? And the selling points are really this bringing together the diverse experience and the flexibility and the agility that results from that. So that would be my in-the-moment thought on this.
15:01 PG: And also, it links me to another question that we've also had. It's more related to the ladies out there, so I'll ask the gentlemen to excuse me on this question. But sometimes for personal reasons we may take a break from work, and that break may be linked to family, maternity, or other very legitimate reasons, I would dare say, and then it's hard to re-position yourself in the market when companies see that gap in your CV, or even those who decide to take a sabbatical break. The difficulties in breaking out of a very rigid way of looking at curriculums... And Sunita, I do understand there are people who are doing YouTubes. We have somebody as well who has been asked to do a video within marketing to present herself and to sell herself on what's her unique proposition and why should a company be hiring her.
15:56 PG: So videos are becoming a very popular way of doing that, but the questions are all related around how do you fill that gap when you know that that gap has been really focused on other priorities in your life, and how do you make sure you're not losing out or being discriminated? I use that word, my word, not the word of the person who asked the question, in a job market which tends to be driven by algorithms and therefore tends to quickly say "this CV, yes," "this CV, no" based on pre-populated, if you will, formulas and equations. So I really open it up to the panel. As you can tell, I'm already taking questions 'cause I'm conscious of time, too, as we are at 2:30 and I wanna give an opportunity to have an interactive conversation and to be a little maître of ceremonies and putting questions out there to the panelists to be able to support some of our participants.
17:02 SM: I'm happy to add just something on that from an HR perspective and also from a woman perspective. I think it depends a little bit on what companies you're looking at, because yes, if you are going to the traditional companies that are not looking at sabbaticals or not looking at that women or men need to take some time off, then sometimes it's about deciding, and that goes back to what Karin said, recalibrate expectations, because maybe those are not the companies that you actually want to be going towards. And that's opening up a little bit your mind and expectations. That's been my sense and my experience from what I've had and heard.
17:39 Mona Amin: And I can jump in to say that when you start the process, you would be surprised how many are actually open to have such profiles as a part of their organization because diversity is becoming a big topic, and diversity is no more revolving around gender. It is also coming around from the experiences that you've had, the breaks that you have taken, the industries that you have not worked for, and etcetera, etcetera. There are a lot of people welcoming people who want to come back after a career break. So give it a try, don't be disappointed if you don't get a yes in the first chance itself, but keep trying.
18:23 KW: What I would also add to that a little bit, Mona, I think it's also about owning your decision in a way. If you decided that this is what you wanted to do because... Whatever the reasons are, this made sense to you at that moment in time, then I think it goes a long way to also being articulate and saying why this was critical to you at that point in time, regardless of some of the job consequences that may be perceived to be the consequence of that decision. I think if you can be stronger and feel more secure in that, I think that that would also be a really big help. And I would say something maybe a little bit more generally, because this is about algorithms and how do you get your CV to the top of a pile? I don't think that you can rely on LinkedIn or whatever search engine to put you to the top of the pile, even if you see, "Ah, I'm top 10 of LinkedIn applicants." I think you still need to find other ways to then make sure that you're getting noticed. So for me, the way I have done that, and the way I have done that for others, is that I'll try and see, is there someone that I know within my network that has some insight into that organization where I can then maybe approach the hiring manager or the recruiter and go directly targeted to them with a story of what I find interesting. Why I'm motivated in the company, why I'm motivated in the job, what I could do in order to actually make a contribution.
20:26 KW: So I think, find that way in so that you don't leave it up to chance and the search engines and the algorithms, in a way, to put your CV to the top of the list.
20:42 IB: This is where I have to step in a little bit, Karin, because...
20:45 KW: Yeah, of course.
20:48 IB: You just put it into my sector, basically. And I do have to mention the social media etiquette that, obviously, is there to support us. It's not something that we should be afraid of, it's not something that comes out of the blue that we need to completely adapt to that we haven't been using before. I think we just need to tailor a little bit our approach and make use of the technology that is available to us these days, to even get closer to that actual job. Maybe it's a job that's been advertised. Maybe, in most cases, it might not be a job that is advertised, it might be a job that you can co-create or you can really step in because you have a particular skill or achievement that a company is looking for. So I'm talking about social media etiquette in our podcast episode as well. I think this is something that we need to be mindful of because, first of all, you will still be communicating with human beings on the other end.
21:53 IB: So we should treat them as human beings. And as much as you can put your value proposition out there, if it is on LinkedIn and if you find somebody that you have in common with the company that you're looking to apply for, or that you're interested in, your passions and contributions match that particular field, then why not look for people that you can communicate with directly because that will help you stand out. That's exactly how I, as a recruiter, will filter through 200 something applicants and realize that this particular name rings a bell, and this person has reached out to me and told me more about what they're doing, why they're interested in this role. And I might actually pay more attention because they've gone above and beyond to catch my attention for this position. I'm sure line managers will react similarly, if you just make it a little bit easier for them to recognize you, and not the other hundreds of applicants that are in that process.
23:00 IB: So this is where, I think, a little bit more activity, more interest, more effort could be used on the social media strategy as well, for you to promote your identity and your digital identity as well. Because here we are, we are digitally available to you and this is our identity here. We are in a world where we're moving slightly to the virtual, interviews are moving into a virtual direction, some onboarding I've heard is moving into the virtual direction as well. So we will be getting more proficient in these skills and whilst we're at it, we might as well use social media to help us get that job that we desire.
23:46 PG: Very well said and what I love about this multi-generational conversation is that it helps us in the different generations that we're in, to see technology as really as an extra tool for us to be able to achieve what we want to achieve. And I think we've broadened the conversation to say, "Well, it's not only about applying online," 'cause 70% of the jobs are not online. You will not be able to find an opportunity... Or let's say, there are lower chances because of everything we've said before. And this forced fitting of the CV into a standard job description, that's almost old school. So just to summarize a little bit, honor your decisions, like Karin was also saying, honor your values. If you've decided to take a break from your career, you've decided to pursue other priorities, stay confident to that, honor that and find different ways of anyway connecting to the relevant people that you wanna connect to, to the relevant industries, using social media to do so, without right away sending a CV. When I was in the corporate world, people would connect with me on LinkedIn, and even before we had a "Hi, how are you?" conversation, they would send their CV. Now, that's not the best approach.
25:01 PG: That really isn't. Because, when you're on the corporate side of things, the last thing you want, because you're overwhelmed with many other things to do and maybe that's not even your role, 'cause everything is through talent acquisition, it's through a portal, that any way you need to redirect people towards. So that is... I would say it's not the best way of networking and targeting, let's say, corporate professionals that may help you in your next step. Now, I'm also conscious of the fact we have 17 minutes to go, we've covered a lot of ground from looking into the external, what's the job market telling us and what we can do about it, in terms of resetting expectations. I do want to open it up to other questions. If you have them, please feel free to use the chat.
25:57 PG: Thank you, Oliver. I see here, "As I reflect on my last 20 years, Oliver is saying, all my roles have been found through networking, really reminding me of the importance of that channel." And Sunita, of course, so true. Very true. And also, I'm happy to share my experience has always been 90% through networking, and the remaining 10%, headhunters. So never has it really been through any sending a CV through an online application.
26:30 PG: So here ends part two of the World Of Work, the live event, which we did a couple of weeks ago, and from here on, we open it up to the participants to check their questions, check the chats, check the polls and also, finally check what's wowing all of us. So make sure you tune in to the final part three of the World of Work live event or the WoW. Until then, take good care. 

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