The following article was prepared by Mike Taylor, C.P.M. for distribution to NAPM affiliate newsletters. 

February 2003

Comment:  Unfortunately I've seen too many friends and associates involuntarily job hunting. In many cases the disaster was predictable but people just didn't face the reality, and ended up starting the search totally unprepared. Sure, you have a lot more time to write a resume and figure out how to use email after you are unemployed. I guess it depends on how you want to spend your unemployment time; searching for a job or getting ready to search.

Requisition a New Job

Anticipating the worst is one lesson we learn early and often in Supply Chain Management. Buyers are continually reminded; " if it can go wrong, it will...". Thus we learn "it's easier to negotiate a contingency up front with a supplier than a solution after the fact."

I suggest we take this skill and apply it to ourselves and our careers. With the economy fluctuating so fast, chances are that many of us will be job hunting in the next few years. So let's anticipate the worst now and "negotiate a contingency" with ourselves. Apply the skill and resources we use on the job to protect our future employment.

Here are some ideas I have. I'm sure you will think of others once you apply your buying skills to the problem.

  1. Write a requisition. [1 each; new job for me!]  
    a. Prepare an acquisition plan and stick to it. Put due dates on each of the items below and get started! 
    b. Don't implement until it's really needed, but start preparing now 
    c. Use professional buying skills to prepare and process the requisition. Ask, answer and resolve questions, issues and concerns just as if it was going to be the most important purchase of the year
  2.  Write the specification. 
    a. Describe the required job, type, location, salary, size of the organization, limiting parameters, etc. [Come on; we wouldn't let a requisitioner get away with broad generalities. Be specific and realistic] 
    b. Inventory and describe your skills and qualifications. [Be complete and honest. See a weakness? Still time to take some training and fix it] 
        i. I add value to the organization by… 
        ii. I am a better candidate that the 200 others because… 
        iii. I am best in class at… 
        iv. I got my last raise by… 
        v. I have these 5 major accomplishments… 
    c. Calculate a lead time (how long can you afford to search?) 
    d. Need date (what is a reasonable expectation of when you might have to start looking) 
  3. Identify potential sources 
    a. Identify potential employers who meet the requirements (don't forget to gather information about the business and get contact names) 
    b. Locate, identify and cultivate networking contacts 
        i. Get addresses, phone numbers, and emails 
        ii. Correspond regularly with people on your contact list
        iii Here is an article about networking 
    c. Look for hidden opportunities. (People in an ideal position about ready to retire, potential managers who we can get to know in advance) 
    d. Become acquainted with internet job resources and try using the web sites. Find the ones that pertain to your specialty or are in locations which meet your requirements. 
    e. Here is a place to start finding job resources  
  4. Prepare the selection criteria 
    a. I'll know when I've found the right position because...
    b. I need "x" insurance, benefits, retirement... (Keep in mind that salary is often not the most important consideration in accepting a new position) 
  5. Prepare the solicitation documents 
    a. Prepare a polished resume. Create two or three different formats and get friends to critique them 
    b. Assemble letters of recommendation 
    c. Write several different and compelling cover letters 
    d. Microsoft Office has a great selection of templates that make this easy  
    e. Assemble samples and examples of work and successes 
  6. Prepare to conduct the solicitation process 
    a. Get your own email address. You don't want to have to submit resumes and correspond with potential employers using the kid's email. [hiphophomeboy@hotmail ain't gonna make a good impression] 
    b. Get in the habit of reading and sorting email. If the mailbox is full, you may miss the most important message. 
    c. Practice attaching and sending resumes and formal letters via email. Get an internet service that supports attached documents. [AOL isn't the right choice] 
    d. Establish name recognition in the market. Volunteer, get involved with professional organizations, meet people, hand out business cards (create memorable personal business cards using the microsoft templates) 
    e. Practice meeting and conversing with new people. [It's an art that takes practice and affiliate meetings are a good place to start]

Consider the various steps involved in the job hunting process. In this case people in our profession have an advantage. Every day we do research for potential sources, analyze specifications, prepare concise documents and communicate with dozens of people.

Remember the old adage; "Don't get angry. Get even!". Get even by doing something about it in advance. Channel emotional energy into being prepared. We can use our skills to compete and survive in a competitive market.

MLTWEB is assembled and maintained by Michael L. Taylor, C.P.M. 
Materials and articles prepared by Mike may be shared for purchasing education provided that this source is cited and no fee is charged. The rights for any other use are withheld.
Copyright;  Michael L. Taylor, C.P.M.
Last Updated: 11/29/2016