We assume sometimes that new means exciting and old means dull. Getting something right, like a repeatable process that works, can feel boring. Productive doesn’t always mean energising. What it does do is free up capacity to be innovative and trying different, more exciting things.
So you need both – processes that work time and time again delivering what is needed and ideas for improvement. Understanding this can help your job performance and career strategy.
What repeatable processes do you need to have in place to be effective at job searching and career planning? For example:
- A full bio and career narrative that you can draw from to create tailored CVs in a timely and efficient way
- A range of online profiles relevant to specific platforms
- An easily accessible portfolio of your work and achievements
- Regular online contributions (e.g. your blog, discussions in LinkedIn groups, engaging on Twitter)
Getting these in place so you can easily update, search, find and schedule frees up your time for being innovative.
How does being innovative in your approach help with getting hired and finding a career pathway you really want?
Innovation is the process of having an idea that makes a positive difference and gets put into practice. Your idea may not be new in other contexts, but you may have exactly what an employer needs at the right time and the right place.
How can you show your innovative ability to a potential employer?
Here are 5 ways to ensure old wine in new bottles is appreciated:
- Revisit what has worked for you before or elsewhere. Test it out under different conditions and situations. How would it work with this role or employer?
- Start with the end in mind and challenge the status quo: ask ‘why are things done this way?’, ‘what if…?’
- Differentiate the symptoms and the causes of the problem you are trying to solve or the pain you are trying to remove for an employer. Keep asking ‘why?’ to get to the bottom of the problem.
- Take the magpie test – are you going with an idea because it’s shiny and new, because it makes you look good and your primary driver is to make your mark? Or, are you going with it because it meets a genuine need and benefits the company and its customers?
- Identify where your strengths lie in the process of innovation – are you the one who comes up with ideas, the one who knows how to communicate, market or sell an idea, or the one who is great at implementing an idea? Identify stories that show how you contribute best.
Everyone can contribute to being innovative. Match the right wine with the right meal by bringing the best of your experience to job and career.