Sometimes when I am meeting with a new candidate, it becomes apparent that he/she has an unusual, marketable business skill. While there may not be a specific accounting job built around this skill in every organization, it’s one that companies would value. The question then becomes, how does this candidate (you) find the best accounting job that is a match for his/her (your) very specific skill. Below are six tips that will help you find the job that capitalizes on what you have to offer.
Don’t Rely on a Recruiting Firm – Yes, I’m a recruiter, and I am advising you to rely on other strategies, not just on me. Instead, accept the fact that companies don’t always know they have a need until the right person walks through the door. For you, this means that they aren’t talking to the recruiting companies looking to fill that specific need. After all, they don’t even know it exists.
Seek Out Companies You Would Like To Work For – Are there specific companies in the industry that have the same core values as you? Take the time to search them out. Read their websites, focusing on the About Us section and their Careers page. Often, these two pages will tell you a lot about a company and what they value. Google the areas of accounting you are most interested in. Which companies show up? Again, take the time to read their website. You might find there’s a niche just waiting for you to step into.
Identify People Who are Already Doing that Job – Have you finished the ground work of researching different companies? Now is the time to book a meeting with a person who is already doing the job you are interested in. Plan what you are going to talk about in the meeting, focusing on understanding what it is the person does now and the career path he/she took to get there. You are developing an understanding of what you need to do next to be considered. If you feel you are making a connection, speak to them about what you want to do and ask for guidance. He/She may be the key contact you need to get to where you want to be.
I have found that people actually want to help and will lend an ear if asked nicely.
Network, Network and Network Some More (and start early) – It’s always a great idea to get this process started sooner, rather than later. I typically advise people to start networking 6-9 months before they want to change jobs. Specialized roles don’t come along that often, so let the players in the industry need to know who you are and what you can offer them. This will keep you front of mind, so if that specific job comes along you are the person that gets the call.
They all Know Each Other – While this tip is similar to the one before it, because it involves networking, it is important enough to deserve its own paragraph. Senior decision makers are often connected through their industry. This means that it is not uncommon for them to refer good talent to each other. Become a part of their group, face to face, as well as on a social networking site liked LinkedIn. The whole idea is to have other people working on your behalf – not just a recruiting company.
Position Yourself as a Specialist – If you have a specific skill, sometimes it helps to overtly explain the value of it. One of the easiest ways to do this (easy only if you don’t have a paralyzing fear of public speaking) is to position yourself as an expert. Ask yourself if there is a presentation or workshop you can give at a meeting of decision makers in your industry. It can help to position you as a valuable resource, one that companies might be interested in having on their team full-time.
Ultimately, a unique skill set, needs a unique job.
We know that companies rarely realize that they have a need until the right person walks through that door.
So if there is a part of you that is unfulfilled in your current job, take the time to create a plan to take the next step. You might be rewarded with a job that allows you to use your skills, grow and establish yourself on the career path you’ve always wanted.