Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Job Campaign Lessons From Clinton, Obama, McCain

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain didn’t take a holiday weekend. They weren’t working on their jobs as U.S. Senators. They were working on their campaigns to get the job as U.S. President. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/26/the-early-word-memorial-day-edition/

If you’re currently among the many executives actively looking for jobs, you might find value in the lessons that can be learned from their campaigns.

Energy ...

No matter whom you’re rooting for, there’s no denying that Clinton, Obama and McCain give 110% effort, 100% of the time. Seemingly 24/7.

Looking for a job is a full time activity - at least a 40-hour week. No half-hearted attempts will produce success. Action is an imperative. Go to conferences, make the extra phone call, join an online group, meet and greet, smile and dial, attend breakfast meetings, lunches and social events. The list goes on and on.

Creativity ...

A creative angle is a differentiator in any campaign.

Think outside the box. Expand your network. Spread the word. Grow your grapevine. Great leads can come just as easily from a conversation with your dentist or neighbor as from a meeting with a recruiter. New ideas spawn new ventures.

Focus …

Campaign victory requires a winning message to convince voters. A successful job campaign needs to convince employers. Understand your audience and their needs. Use that insight to formulate and steer your campaign.

Just like voters, employers are interested in “What’s in it for me?”

Resilience ...

Both job and political campaigns can be tough. McCain was seemingly down and out in the Fall of ’07, Clinton went from front-runner to chaser and Obama responded to a barrage of personal attacks. All could have folded their tents, but they didn't.

At some point, almost all job searches feel like roller-coasters. One day, it seems that you’re flush with opportunities and the next, you feel like you’re out of options. It’s the nature of the process and when that happens, just take your cues from today’s presidential prospects.

Campaign with energy, creativity, focus and resilience.

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