As a headhunter and career coach, the number issue I have noticed stopping people from achieving the life and career they envision is: the Fear Of Missing Out. Otherwise, known as FOMO. In an effort to “appeal to everyone” and to “be open to everything”, many candidates, colleagues, and fellow businesspeople fail to attract ANYone or ANYthing, delaying and negatively impacting their job search efforts and success.
FOMO must be avoided at all costs because sustainably successful people and businesses know that the only way to make it in their realm is specialization, expertise, and a unified marketing message touting their unique selling points (USPs)*. Ironically, pursuing the strategy of “LESS is MORE” actually attracts more success to your life, job, and business!
*Of course it helps to be actually good at what you’re promising to deliver so there’s the performance piece too.
Here are 3 reasons why LESS is MORE in your life, business, and career.
1. First and foremost, a tight, unified marketing message eliminates confusion to your target audiences. If you’re applying to 20 different type of jobs, how are you planning to represent your digital self on LinkedIn or other platforms? Bear in mind, hiring decision-makers have access to the internet. If they choose to look you up, what will they find? 20 different versions of you or one streamlined, relevant, and specific message of who you are, tailored to the job that you’re applying for? The latter will ironically increase your chances of receiving an interview request. In this sense, the internet is a blessing and a curse!
There’s a reason why people say the phrase “don’t mean jack” with disdain!
Remember, being a “Jack of all trades, master of none“** is not a great marketing pitch to any hiring manager unless they’re similarly disjointed and unorganized. Strategic thinkers and leaders prefer someone who is self-aware, understands their weaknesses and strengths, and therefore has a clear idea why a certain role/industry/job is suitable from not only a temporary but more long-term view.
**TIP: In the beginning of your career, you can be excused for having no distinct understanding of who/what you are due to not enough work history. As you get more seasoned in the industry, this will be harder to get away with. Cuz it won’t make any sense if you’re all over the place year in and year out!
2. Clear/straightforward strategy thus easy to manage processes. Whether it’s content production, PR, marketing, or communicating your message to others verbally/in-person, you’ve now saved yourself a lot of work! You can repurpose your content across multiple channels, because, guess what? You’re only marketing one congruent/unified version of who you are! You’re able to generate massive economies of scale on your time, effort, and marketing costs. Instead of tailoring yourself to everyone and everything, you’re staking your claim in a niche manner to dominate ONEfield. Going deeper as a strategy is much more effective then spending tons of money to advertise on the surface level, never penetrating the market in a more meaningful way.
In headhunting, I would have never succeeded if I had more than 1 market at a time. Furthermore, work became easier and easier because my reputation grew ahead of me; therefore, by year 3, I was generating more than double what I billed in year 1 while doing significantly less work! Specialization is key to owning and dominating that ONE field so you’re the go-to expert thus FAMOUS on your own playing field! Which leads to my next point:
3. Specialization yields a natural competitive edge which equals $$$. In every arena, whether it’s sports, business, or careers: competition matters. How can you be great at something if you’re spending time working on everything here and there? As a result, you may become mediocre at everything! Which means, other people interviewing for the same job you’re trying out for, who choose to focus their efforts and master their craft, will absolutely trounce you in a head-to-head battle!
Food for thought: What’s your competitive edge and how are you UNIQUE? Comment and share this post – would love to hear your thoughts!
Dandan Zhu is a NYC-based entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Dandan Global, headhunter-turned-career coach, and go-getter businesswoman.
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