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How to Pick the Best Career for You, Part 3

By: Marta Driesslein


Job searching without a target market is as frustrating as transporting a loved one to a hospital emergency room in a foreign country wearing a blindfold. There is every obstacle in place to guarantee you won’t arrive at your destination: Unfamiliar territory, unplanned routing and uncertain conditions.


Marketing-with-Intent precisely drives you to your target and with greater speed because you are using the right mode of transportation, an accurate compass and a clear vision of where you’re headed. You’ll differentiate yourself from your competition by using the right vehicle to uncover the best career for you. Finding a job is easy. Locating a meaningful career is much harder but well worth the sweat.

The traditional method of career transitioning moves you out of the driver’s seat and into the back seat.  Whenever your career marketing campaign is driven by your needs rather than the employer’s, you lose control of steering your job search in the right direction. Today’s customer-centric marketplace requires companies to selectively position each product properly, target it toward the right market and package it into an effective, memorable branding. You’ll need this same laser-beamed approach to pinpoint the right career. It is not a one-shot, random deal. You must market with intent.

Marketing is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view. We distinguish ourselves through our marketing. Sell solutions, not product. Create demand. Effective marketing both in business and career campaigning also demands continued:

  • Diligence in tracking outcomes
  • Courage to ditch non- or underperforming efforts
  • Hands-on creativity to exploit hidden opportunity

There is no such thing as “soft sell” or “hard sell.” There is only “smart sell” and “stupid sell.” If you try to appeal to everybody, someone else is going to sneak behind you and pick off significant chunks of your market. Translation: Your competition wins. You lose. Smart selling understands the critical difference between mass marketing and marketing segmentation:

  • In mass marketing, candidates seek to appeal to a broad range of employers by passively utilizing a single untargeted and generalized marketing strategy. Dumb choice.
  • In market segmentation, or Marketing-with-Intent, the job seeker proactively seeks to appeal to well-defined employer targets. This is accomplished through a strategically-designed marketing action plan that employs multiple strategies simultaneously. Smart choice.

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter achieved a successful career marketing campaign because the voters’ needs were understood, emphasized, reinforced and fulfilled. Jimmy Carter overcame a voter-perceived liability of being a Southerner and Farmer by getting on a tractor, wearing blue jeans, and making sure the people saw his boots were mud-filled from walking the fields. His Marketing-with-Intent effort dramatically and effectively linked the need for voters for a leader that understood their issues to the credibility of being “one of the people.”

Hot career tip: Want to transfer your skills into a better career and perhaps even a different industry and do so more quickly? Stop viewing and marketing yourself exclusively by what you’ve done. Tunnel vision severely underestimates your career options and income potential.

Here are seven tips to ensure you’re marketing with intent and the expedition won’t be futile:

  • Know the job market,
  • Know your functional and industry options, or employer’s needs in these areas,
  • Recognize your marketing skills, where you are most marketable, and all you have to offer,
  • Develop a marketing plan of action to generate multiple, simultaneous interviews,
  • Shore up your writing skills to create the kind of highly effective resumes and letter that make the system work,
  • Allow time to run a complete job search coherently, independently, and productively,
  • Gain sufficient exposure (access) to ample numbers of decision-makers

Marketing-with-Intent is a breakthrough market segmentation strategy that more definitively steers your career campaign by giving you back control of the wheel. However, this groundbreaking tactic consistently requires you to use the right tools to be effective:

  • Positioning (posture yourself as a problem solver)
  • Exposure (detect indications of hiring patterns and necessity for solutions)
  • Marketing (create demand for your talents by communicating your benefit)

When you identify employer needs through subterranean market research and then develop a personalized solution and communication initiative that aligns with those needs, you’ll flawlessly yield a positive outcome.

Never drive your job search blindfolded and certainly don’t let hindsight be your tour guide. Zoom, Zoom.


Marta L. Driesslein is a Management Consultant for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc.  (   The nation's most successful privately-held career marketing firm for over 24 years.   R.L. Stevens & Associates specializes in professionally-run executive career searches to generate quality interviews through both advertised and unadvertised channels. Email inquiries and comments to



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