The first position I obtained after college was in a bank. After working there for a year, I decided to go back to the university to study recreation and parks. My immediate career goal at the time was to become a camp director. My mother was very unhappy about my decision. The simplest way to put it is to say that it was outside of her comfort zone. Although she didn’t overtly oppose my decision, she made her opposition known.
In the positioning model, the first step is to decide where you want to work. You may be able to articulate this in terms of your career goal. Chapters 4 and 5, on think evaluation and bridging, will help you identify your career opportunities. Sally Herr identified her career opportunities and then pursued them.
Better ways to do things can include identifying and acquiring the necessary KSAEs, casing the joint, or seeking a one-on-one interview. They may also involve more traditional actions such as developing your resume and cover letter.
In a sense, this is a variation of statement 7. It has two parts, challenging you first to develop a new skill to advance your career, and second, to pay for it yourself. The cost of obtaining the new skill includes not only money, but time. This statement reflects perseverance and dedication.
Sally Herr determined that she needed a four-year degree and to increase her programming diversity. She planned to strengthen her credentials by obtaining a water aerobics certification at the local community college. Although her parents were contributing to her tuition, she was willing to pay for the certification, if necessary.
Are you complacent and satisfied with your career, and with what you are currently doing? If so, are you proactive in terms of your career development? Probably not. The inference of this statement is that if you have recently had a new job or a major promotion, your career is active and you are moving along on your career path. Because Sally Herr is a graduating senior entering the field for the first time, this statement has less relevance for her.
This statement embodies the main principles of this book. Proactive job seekers have a good idea of the job they are seeking. Once they know this, they actively seek this position. They network. They case the joint. These are all signs of spotting a good career opportunity long before others can. The principles of positioning described in this book will help you spot good career opportunities before others do and will help you to become more proactive in your job search.
The positioning model gives you the opportunity to see potential career opportunities that others have not seen. It can also help you create a job where one didn’t exist previously. Sally Herr spotted a potential career opportunity at the Anytown AFC and then pursued it using the positioning model. It doesn’t really matter whether she created a new position where one didn’t previously exist, or whether she simply uncovered a job that others didn’t see.
Many people who are positioning themselves become fearful that someone else will recognize the career opportunity that they see and steal it from underneath them. This is a natural fear. In most cases, however, you can lay this fear to rest because everyone else is generally oblivious to the career opportunity you see. This is because they haven’t put in the time and energy that you have to research the position. In most cases, when you are positioning yourself, you are the only one competing for the position.
This is an excerpt from Career Development in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism.