One of my mentors, Paul Tobin, is a sales and marketing guru. In a discussion we had a few years ago, he explained the difference between Sales and Marketing to me. He stated that,
“In Sales, you go out and try to get people to buy something from you. In marketing, you create such a compelling story around your product or service that people come to you to buy it.”
Basically, it is the difference between pushing your product or services out to the buyer and drawing the buyer in through a compelling force.
I think about these push/pull differences as I look at our workforce and job market today. There are a lot of people out there looking for new employment, sending our resumes, posting on job boards, and waiting for a return call. Sometimes, it is a long wait.
Then I see people who are looking for new employment by networking, talking to people, donating their time and resources. A lot of these people don’t wear their job search on their sleeves; they just exhibit skill and qualities that employers are looking for and expose these attributes to a broader network.
As I look at these two different approaches to career development, I often wonder which one is best?
Over the past few years, there has been a lot written about creating your “personal brand.” A personal brand is the professional identity that you create by crystallizing your work experience and personal skills into a cohesive public image. This concept of “personal brand” is really a combination of how you sell and market yourself.
So, maybe the answer to the most powerful job search is combining both the sales and marketing of your skills. It may not be a matter of one approach being better than another. Successful career advancement may be about finding the right mix of traditional job search tactics with modern networking and outreach activities.
What I do know to be true is that success will be found when you develop and maintain your professional presence in the marketplace. Like they say about winning the lottery,
“You can’t win, if you don’t play.”