Posts Tagged 'jobsearch'

Is your career more like LIFE or Candy Land?

The game of LIFE is billed as “see where your choices take you.” Your choices are time lined to retirement.  Retirement is the prize?

Along your journey, you make choices about college, jobs, marriage, financial planning and family. All milestones, but unlike LIFE, you will most likely have over 6 jobs in your career.

Candy Land on the other hand, is simply a race with really no meaningful choices.  That said, there are many career lessons buried in the Candy Land experience!








Have you recently paused to consider the direction of your career?

  • Where have you been, where you are now and where you are going?
  • How many jobs will you have in your career?  
  • Will you ever reach the position of your dreams?



Believe it or not, a game of Candy Land can be won in as few as 4 turns.  The odds of winning the game in 4 turns, is approximately 1 in 25,000.  It’s about the same odds of you landing a great career opportunity without a plan or by watching job boards.  A good Career Branding strategy must start with a goal in mind. It’s impossible to have a successful plan if you have not clearly defined success!

Success in Candy Land is pretty well defined.  However, as human beings we always complicate the simple.   Candy Land defines success as the first one to the Candy Kastle.  The rules are clear that you can advance past the end purple square to win.  Despite the clear instructions, many people, play that you must land exactly on the last purple square to win.  This change makes the game almost 40% longer and thus, more difficult to win.

  • Are you looking for a prolonged job search in a challenging economy?  Are you too laser focused on landing the perfect job?  Increase your odds by accepting victory for its merit and do not always look to land exactly on the purple square.


  • Shortcuts?  We all want to find them.  In Candy Land, there are short cuts; however, it is critical to acknowledge there are more ways to get stuck than short cuts in the game.  The same applies to your career choices.  How do you identify your Molasses Swamp, Lollipop Woods and Gooey Gumdrops?  Do you find yourself saying: “I can’t move now because…” Avoid constantly looking for the short cuts and seize the moment, when the moment is there. Constantly stuck in Gooey Gumdrops is no way to go through life.


  • Through social networking groups you have a unique chance to learn, teach and connect. Are you active in a single LinkedIn Group? The road signs on the Candy Land game board are Gingerbread Plum Trees, Peppermint Forest, Gumdrop Mountains, and Peanut Brittle House.   What are your road signs?


  • Keep networking at all times.  Do not limit your networking to your current industry or area of expertise. Build a broad network. The world changes fast and you never know where you will be 5, 10 or 15 years from now. Printed on the Candy Land board are Lord Licorice, Licorice Castle, Gloppy, the Ice Cream Sea, King Kandy, and Candy Castle.  None of these appear in the play of the game. They represent networking with people that you cannot fathom how they can help your career today.  Focused networking is important, but a truly myopic view to networking is not a prudent choice.


Career Brander sincerely hopes you all find your Candy Kastle in 2013.


Career Opportunities: Do you have a good pipeline?

In business, revenue is a lagging indicator.  In career movement, one could suggest, that having a job, is a lagging indicator too.

What really defines sales is the process leading to a “booking”.  By the time revenue flows in post booking, all the branding, marketing, messaging, positioning, meetings, reference checking and negotiations are already completed.

What really defines career branding and job search, is how you manage your activities every day.  It is not purely being employed equals success and being unemployed equal’s failure.

You can look at the funnel below and see a simplistic version of both a sales and marketing funnel side by side.  To find your next great career opportunity, it is part marketing, and part sales.


Ask yourself:

  • Are you creating awareness for your personal brand?
  • Are you constantly prospecting?
  • Are you qualifying where you spend your time judiciously?
  • Are you aligning your value proposition to those of the companies you are targeting?
  • Are you constantly nurturing your pipeline to ensure you are first to mind when opportunities & time lines align?

In sales and marketing a common prospecting measurement is called BANT, which stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline.  Companies prospecting for new clients constantly profile their opportunities for BANT.

Are you utilizing such a filter for your prospecting?

Does the prospective company have a budgeted open position?

Are you talking to the actual person hiring or do you even know who that is?

Is there a clear business need to justify the position?

Are they going to hire soon?

Lastly, companies always wonder what the optimum pipeline size is.  Too many prospects, suggests poor BANT and wasted cycles of time.  Too few prospects, suggests the need for more rigorous effort including: more cold calls, more emails and most importantly, more face to face meetings.

Ask yourself, how is your pipeline heading into 2013? 

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