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How To Get An Edge On Your Job-Search Competition

Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan

Dear Liz,

I’ve worked for three good companies and one not-so-great company but I cannot complain because I’ve only been unemployed for five months out of the last fifteen years.

Now I’ve learned that I’m going to be out of work again starting in February. What has changed over the years is that I’ve become more specialized (I’m a Systems Engineer) and my increasing experience has priced me out of lots of lower-level jobs.

That’s okay, but it’s also scary. When I read the job ads I see maybe two new jobs a week that are a good fit for me, when ten years ago I saw 15 or 20.

I find that I compete for jobs with the same six or eight people every time. It’s a small community and we all end up interviewing for the same job opportunities.

I know these guys well (they’re all men). I know their capabilities and they know mine. Some of us are better at some things and others are better at other things as you would expect.

I respect the folks that I always end up competing against but I want to set myself apart. I think it is time for me to step into my thought leadership and subject-matter expertise but I don’t know how to do it. I’m not a public speaker but I have written some LinkedIn blog posts about the topics I care about most.

My salary requirement is right in line with that of my usual “competitors” for a job. I don’t want to price myself out of good opportunities, but I don’t want to become a commodity either. Any tips for me?


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