How to Become a Millionaire | Career Rocketeer - Career Search and Personal Branding Blog

At a Job Search 2.0 group presentation I lead a few months ago, a successful executive in the audience told me that he felt like a character in the 1983 movie Trading Places. In the movie Trading Places, you may recall a street hustler, Eddie Murphy, and a commodities trader, Dan Akroyd, switch positions/careers.

What this job seeking executive was lamenting is that he views himself as a hard working, intelligent and successful business person…and now he sees himself peering through a sidewalk window where life appears beautiful and even indulgent. It was “his life”, but now he is on the sidewalk. He wants his old life back.

I found this executive’s perspective very visual and very real.

So what to do?

For the answer, we turn to actor Steve Martin. He started his career as a stand-up comic. Then he became, the wild and crazy guy, on Saturday Night Live, followed by major motion picture actor.

One of his famous lines from his early routines went something like this:
He would say, “Listen closely and I will explain the sure fire way to become a millionaire. An absolutely fool proof, guaranteed plan that will make you a millionaire. This is a secret, so please promise that you will not share it with anyone. Ok, here you go ….first you find a million dollars…”

How does this tell me what to do? How do I avoid being the guy on the sidewalk peering through the plate glass window?

“First you need to find a job.”

The job search game has changed. The economy is getting better, but it is far from great. There are still millions of people looking for work in the United States. Many of these folks are highly qualified, motivated and talented people. Assume you are competing with them for every single opportunity.

My suggestion to you today, is re-adjust your job search scope in 4 simple steps:

  1. Do not focus on re-finding your last position.
  2. Instead, target companies who appear to have a bright future with obvious growth possibilities.
  3. Brainstorm on how you could help this company be successful and develop a clear solution-oriented personal marketing message.
  4. Now, simply take this message to the hiring managers at the companies you identified in step 2.

The reality of the job market is that, despite your capabilities and track record, you cannot target the last position you held.

By example, assume you were Head of Customer Service at your last job.

In a 2010 job search you should not fixate on looking for a “Head of Customer Service” role. Instead you should have a personal marketing plan that leads with, “I’m looking for a role in your customer service department.” Yes, you may be over qualified for many open positions, but you need to consider getting in the door to position yourself for the job you really desire. In the current economy, taking a position a notch below your last job, at a quality company, is a better course of action than waiting for the “Head of Customer Service” position to open.

If you target the right company that is growing, taking a lesser position and showing your talents will position you well to secure the “Head of Customer Service” position when it opens.

In 2010, it is important to check your ego, mute the past, and secure a job.

Do not stay on the sidewalk peering through the plate glass window, instead, engage in a sure fire way to become a millionaire.

Guest Expert:

Ian Levine is the founder of Career Brander. The Internet’s first personal marketing portal focused on individuals in career transition. Career Brander’s site includes software tools for dynamic job networking, creating resumes, instantly building personal career websites, financial planning calculators, professional business card printing, and proprietary content & links. Career Brander’s Job Search Radar, is a robust tool that integrates Hoover’s premium content, social networks and web agents into an effective career transition platform. You can read additional personal branding and career articles by Ian Levine on the Career Brander Blog.

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