For every fan of “Project Runway,” you have heard the indelible Tim Gunn, utter his signature line “Make It Work” as he encourages, prods and sometimes embarrasses aspiring fashion designers to reach their goal of making it to the finish line and ultimately win the competition. For those of you who have a similar coach, mentor or someone you can rely on to encourage you to achieve your goals, you have received a rare gift. For those of you who do not, I’m about to help you apply the make-it-work philosophy to your job search.
When you “make it work” you are basically moving your career from a vision to execution no matter the cost. Like a designer carving out the pattern for a dress, you to are creating the look, the feel and the belief that you can achieve anything from your original idea of who and what you aspire to be. Â When you sketch out your goals, you begin to create a very clear picture of what you want your career to look like. Â This process begins by realistically assessing your skills, your qualifications and experience and melding them into a form that will ultimately create the job vision you want to create. Sometimes your vision may be skewed by your lack of experience and you may get direction or feedback from someone you trust encouraging you to “make it work” because they see potential in what you are doing that you may have missed. Those are the times to pay attention to your own internal guidance system and choose whether the advise you receive is helpful, in line with your vision, or not at all what you aspire to create. Like the struggling fashion designer on the show, you have a choice whether you should follow your own vision or the advise of a mentor. Â Either way, it’s up to you to stand behind your decision no matter what the outcome. Â So, if you are writing a five-page resume and including things you did when you were back in high school as an example and you may wonder why no one is calling you for an interview, you may want to edit yourself and make it work to fit the audience you are selling yourself to for a job.
Your vision of yourself and how you approach your career goals may change ten times before you get it right, or you may be so clear about your vision of how to get your next job that you know exactly the next steps to follow in order to get there. Â You may need to make adjustments along the way, like fitting a pattern to the form, and find what is missing or might need to be embellished in order to achieve the perfect result. Â Finding your inner vision and executing it regardless of what others are doing around you is making it work in true Tim Gunn style. Â It’s no secret that competition in the job market is fierce these days no matter what industry you are in, particularly when you find yourself up against the same job a hundred other people are going for as well. What you do differently to make it work for you and stand out is a key component in your ability to succeed and get ahead. Taking risks, pushing the envelope and thinking out of the box are all expressions you have heard put to use when helping job seekers find their way. Making it work is finding the ability to self-adjust and approach your job search when nothing else seems to work.
You may enjoy the competitive challenge or you may shrink away from it, but finding your voice, your vision and your career goal is like creating your own personal design no one can deny.Â Competition brings out the best and the worst in us whether the challenge is getting a job or winning a contest. Â Finding creative solutions in your job quest depends on how creative you are willing to be and what you are willing to do to get the job you want. Knowing how to leverage your contacts to get an interview, or approaching the right person at the right time for a job, or changing your approach when you are not getting job offers, are necessary if you are going to make it work and be successful in winning.Â How you play the job game is important in getting the job you want. Â Remember, if something isn’t working on your quest for the perfect job, you have to be ready and willing to “make it work” in order to win.
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