Here’s the diagram again.
I suggested that your career planning should involve you exploring all the possibilities of Quadrants Two, Three and Four. I want you to give careful thought to what other roles you could do within your current industry; and what other industries you could bring value to.
This is all about transferable skills and it’s really valuable for you to be able to demonstrate HOW your experience can transfer into other roles and into other industries
But there is a big, huge, enormous stumbling block in your way.
Are you relying on responding to job ads to find your new role?
If you are, you need to understand the role of the recruiter.
Because a recruiter will not help you find a role outside of Quadrant One.
You need to understand that the vast majority of recruiters are order-takers. The client says “I want a person with xyz skills and xyz experience” and the recruiter sets about finding people with xyz skills and xyz experience.
In other words, they are looking for a square peg to put into a square hole.
When you are trying to move into Quadrants Two, Three and Four, you will never be the best qualified person on paper. So you are very unlikely to make the recruiter’s shortlist, because you simply don’t fit the brief.
Now, let’s be fair.
In my 12+ years as an executive recruiter, I have often been given a shopping list of skills and experience by my clients. The difference for me is that, at the C-suite level, clients want to go beyond order-taking. They are often looking for a left-field hire or a bold choice, because they know they need new perspectives and outside experience.
But for most roles, employers use recruiters to de-risk candidate selection. And recruiters are looking for ways to cull the giant pile of applications they receive.
If your lack of specific skills or experience would make it hard for a recruiter to sell you to their client, then they probably won’t try. You’re not what the client wants (even if you could be exactly what the client needs!)
Here’s the good news.
Please know that you absolutely can move – easily and quickly and advantageously – all the way to Quadrant Four.
I know you can, because I see it all the time and I help my career coaching clients do it too.
But you can’t rely on job ads and recruiters to get there.
To get there, you must proactively reach out to the people who can help you make this move. You must rely on yourself.
Isn’t that better than hoping some recruiter will push your barrow?
Please follow me to catch upcoming articles that break down the process of reaching out to people on LinkedIn.
My best wishes for your job search success.
Richard Triggs is the Founder and Managing Partner of Arete Executive, one of Australasia’s leading executive recruitment companies. He has championed the practice of helping people to “headhunt their own job” and you can find more advice about this in his book Uncover the Hidden Job Market (available from Amazon or richardtriggs.com). You can also follow Arete Executive on LinkedIn for useful information and resources and the latest jobs.
Richard has an organically built network of over 20,000 connections on LinkedIn and you are warmly invited to join his network.