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Steps to Success by Sarah Weinberger

Job search expert Sarah Weinberger has worked with job seekers for years answering their questions and providing them tools by which to succeed. Her analytical mind bridges the gap between the engineering of a career search and individuals.

She welcomes your questions, and encourages you to send them into her. Please use our contact form or connect with her on LinkedIn. She will select questions to answer and post the answer on this site. Below are some of the questions she received and answered.









I have heard a lot of talk recently about the topic of being detail oriented, and I was led to how being detail oriented affects a job search and one´s career.

Before delving into this subject, we need to make a distinction between the pursuits of just a job and to reach the next level in your career. If you just want a J-O-B, then company´s such as Target and McDonald´s are always hiring, especially seasonal workers. If you want to have a success white collar position, then you need to do more than simply filling out a form or two or asking a friend. This article talks about the latter, namely the steps necessary to achieve the next level in your career path.

The steps to reach this next level are no different than the steps that NASA would need to do to build the next generation space shuttle or LACMA will need to do to build their bridge over Wilshire Blvd here in Los Angeles. There is rationality to the madness and obsession to the steps necessary to achieve the goal.

The first question that comes to mind is to define what "detail oriented" means. Details by themselves are ambiguous because we have to talk about granularity. Anyone, who is truly looks at details, has to start with the biggest detail of all.

What do you want?

A job with money coming in is pretty much the answer for most people, but money and a job are byproducts. These are the results of a bigger question, a bigger granularity, namely what type of job would make you happy and will get your passion juices flowing? A subject, where you have passion and an interest, will lead to a job and money. The reverse is not true. Having a job that pays well will lead to boredom and stagnating skills, which in the long run will get you back to where you started.

Once you know where you want to go, you must create blueprint / assessment of basic steps needed to reach that goal. Here you will create the requirements document, in more technical terminology, Requirements Specification to be precise. You have to create a list, preferably using a single word for each bullet, of what you need to reach that goal (education, expertise, branding, exposure, etc.).

You then have to create a list of reasons, why you are the right person for this job and not someone else. Do not just say that you are passionate about the field, show it. List what you do and do not do in this area.

Create a schedule that fulfills each of the requirements. How will you go about reaching each of these requirements and how will you distribute the week / month. You should set an end date, and not just leave things open-ended. You will need to become your own project manager. You will create project and design documents. Technically, the Design Specification refers to the design document that you created.

As you can see, true detail oriented people are methodical and continuously drill down. I would say this concept is an engineering one or more accurately a scientific one, but this concept is universal to any profession done seriously. Drilling down continuously evaluating facts as you go applies to law and any other field just as easily.

When someone tells you that you are lost in the details, quite possibly they do not see or understand the previous steps that you did or the results. Results can take time, as you may not have a team of people doing the work. Heck, raising the Concordia ship off of Italy took 2.5 years of very detail oriented work. Launching a human to the moon and returning that person safely to Earth was also a very detail oriented task. Painting the Mono Lisa was also a detail oriented task.

If you truly follow a detail oriented regimen and someone complains to you that you are getting lost in the details, take pride, because the truth is that that person might just be complaining about themselves and not you.

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