As writer Ashley Jude Collie so aptly put it, “The growing impulse to customize motorcycles undoubtedly taps into a deep human desire to express personal tastes, individuality and self-expression.” Even Burger King scrapped its 40-year-old ‘‘Have It Your Way’’ slogan in favor of the more personal ‘‘Be Your Way.’’ And, it’s not just the boutique bike builders that are both driving and benefiting from the customization movement. Major motorcycle manufacturers like Yamaha tout, “We build it, you make it your own.”
The remark by custom motorcycle enthusiast and advocate of the modern classic Nick Dee of Rebel Social, namely, that “It’s about individuality and creativity, celebrating who you are by how you style your bike,” can be applied to anyone looking to find meaningful work or reinvent their career in today’s job market. Just as motorcycle custom builders get approached by clients to design a bike that will personalize their ride, it can happen during your job search campaign when meeting with a former mentor or colleague or even a new contact that this person will turn to you and say, “Why don’t you write out a job description based upon what we just discussed and let’s see if there is an opportunity to work together.” This is a golden opportunity to create a new job that you can design yourself and, in the process, emulate those individual motorcyclists who have altered the appearance of their machines since the very first days of motorcycling. Here’s how to do it:
DO YOUR CUSTOM CAREER DUE DILIGENCE: Research information about your target company and the industry using the Internet, LinkedIn, Google searches and the company’s own website. Write role do you see yourself performing, based upon the information you’ve gathered and your conversation with the employer. Look at the company’s mission statement, news items, the problems it’s looking to solve and the challenges it’s facing. Identify what need you could fill. What unique combination of skills, abilities, experience and education that you already have can you bring to the table?
TURN YOUR RESEARCH DATA INTO A CUSTOM JOB DESCRIPTION: This is the stage at which you design your own job description; one that reflects what your ideal career looks like based upon your own research. Your custom job description should be structured to help your target company solve a real problem and address an actual need it has. Then, describe what your ideal work week looks like: Work from home? 3-day week? Mix of office and remote location? Permanent? Part-time? 1099? Write your custom job description working backwards from what you want to achieve for your target company to identifying how you will deliver on your commitment while at the same time living the life you want?
SELL AND MARKET YOUR CUSTOM CAREER: Here’s where you convert your job description into a conversation you’re going to have in your follow-up meeting. Take your job description to a safe place where you can rehearse it out loud by yourself until it becomes a natural conversation. Bullet points are best to work from. Schedule your follow-up meeting and sell and market YOU and what YOU can do for who is now a very interested employer.
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