Don’t Look for a Job, Biz-Dev!


You’re looking for a job. I know, it’s difficult, it’s not like it used to be, it’s stressful, even frightening for some.

Yes, you can apply for any job out there, thinking that this is a numbers game. And yes, you can let the world know you are “looking for your next adventure” on LinkedIn, as if people are going to say, “Wow, we have to hire that person NOW!” And yes, you can ask a lot of colleagues and friends for help.

But, do you really think this is the right strategy? It may work, but, do you really want to count on the fact that your CV, even if being No. 11 on the list out of 200, will get noticed? Do you actually think it’s about your place in that CV pile on someone’s desk (virtually, of course)? Or, back to your friends and colleagues — do you really expect them to make an extra effort and help you, especially if you, when you had a nice stable job, could not care less about them and their needs?

Throughout my journey, I came to adopt the idea that in today’s world of work, in today’s on-demand economy, we are all business units. Therefore, while looking for a job could still work, I believe that “biz-deving” (from “business development”) your potential employer could work better, in the long term.

So, just like any other P&L business unit — you need sales. And for sales, you need the right marketing, network and community. Suddenly, everything changes in your state of mind, and you can start looking to solve potential employers’ challenges, instead of looking for an employer who would solve your problem (salary). Now, you can go “biz-dev.”

This is, by the way, especially true for Olim and internationals in Israel. Why? because as an Oleh, you can find ways to solve potential employers’ challenges, in ways you may have not considered. You actually have a unique value in mitigating and bridging cultures.

So, to conclude, here’s what I would offer:

  1. Think of potential employers you are interested in. They may not hire at the moment, but it does not matter.
  2. Create a list of target-employers, where for each, you have a reason for why it’s them you want to work with.
  3. Next, for each one, find a good enough reason for why they should be interested in you, and your unique added value. What pain can you help them diminish? What challenge can you help them meet?
  4. Now, find the right people in that company to talk to about how you can, and would love to, help with succeed more. These could be finance people, product people, logistics people, marketing and sales people, etc. Not always these are HR people in that company, and not always executives are the ones you should target.
  5. Reach out, so you get to know them. But, also communicate with them wisely and show them you truly understand their needs, so they would care to pay attention,and get to know you.
  6. Explain to them why you believe you can help them meet those needs and grow stronger, and why you’re so interested in them specifically. Try to point to an emotional or value based attachment. This will help them understand why you will care more.
  7. Tell them that, in a miraculous way, you are also looking for your next career move.
  8. If nothing comes out of that – at least you planted a seed. Move on to the next one. But remember, you only need one of them to take it to the next step and end up saying “yes” 🙂

Now, go biz-dev your next employer!

“Hack your Masa Internship” talk with Stagerim Participants

About the Author
Assaf is passionate about promoting business in and with Israel, helping and mentoring entrepreneurs, advising young professionals with career planning and self-fulfillment, and more. Assaf acts as a brand ambassador of Israel as 'Start-Up Nation', speaking to thousands of businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs, young professionals, students and others, both in Israel and around the world. Assaf also works as a business development and marketing consultant to Israeli start-ups and others.
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