I Can Do All Things!

Unless you are Superman, those words will probably work against you rather than for you … particularly when searching for that next finance executive position. From my perspective, here are the top three reasons why …

Jack-of-all-Trades, Master-of-None … When you’re good at a lot of things, rarely are you an expert at SOMEthing. That “something” is usually what companies are hiring. Katie Konrath said this in her post, “Stop Saying You Can Do Anything!”

… acting like a jack-of-all-trades ends up causing others to think (that if you’ve spent the time learning how to do everything) you haven’t had the time to become really good at what they actually need you to do.

Commodity Status … Knowing a lot about a little rather than being a Subject Matter Expert, by its very nature, relegates candidates to commodity status. Wikipedia’s definition of commodity is this … paraphrased … “there is demand, but no differentiation … and price [salary] is determined as a function of its market as a whole.” 

Being a Master of SOMEthing is usually more valued than being a Master of ALL things … both in perception and salary.

Weak Positioning … When you are all things to all people, you are no longer true to yourself. You aren’t playing from your passions, values, or in many cases, your strengths you are making and re-making yourself into what someone needs or wants. The result is compromising a strong and compelling position. Raymond Hull said it this way … “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”  When you understand your area of expertise and the target market who needs it, your positioning is much stronger. 

The reality is … the tighter your niche or area of expertise, the bigger your presence. Think about it.

Recruiting Top Talent

I just finished reading Neal Lockhart’s article on recruiting top performers posted at ERE.net. You’all know I love getting into the minds of recruiters … it helps me help my clients. 

Lockhart talks about recruiting pearls, the prized candidates. You know who they are, right … someone who is highly esteemed or valued, and the most sought after. Wikipedia says, “the word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, very fine, very admirable, and very valuable."

Prized candidates are not commodities … after all, there is only one pearl per oyster shell. In the game of top talent, there is little competition at the top and each of those candidates has, and can articulate, a clear and compelling value proposition.

So, read the article or not … but here’s a quick take-away. Three questions you should ask a recruiter when he calls you about potential opportunities. 

– Why should I listen to you?

– Why should I be interested in the opportunity?

– Why would I want to work there?

Are you the “pearl” recruiters are competing for … and are you making it easy for them to find you?