A while ago I applied for a new job—an internal gig. This week was interview week and while it wasn’t out of the ordinary, it was a bit grueling considering the lack of sleep I’ve been getting, thanks to the new baby. The interview is conducted at two locations and pretty much takes a whole day—fortunately travel between the locations was only about 45 minutes. There are a couple of one-on-one interviews, lunch and a couple of group interviews. Kinda wears you down after a while. Haven’t heard anything about the results and probably won’t until next month. I’m not holding my breath, though—I figure I’m a bit of an underdog in this race.
Anyway, since I figured I was the underdog, I decided I needed to whip up the best “personal marketing” plan I could. I recruited several colleagues, including my boss and boss’s boss, to forward nice letters about me to the hiring manager. I deconstructed the job posting and did a color-coded comparative breakdown as well. But the best thing I did, in my view, was a single-page strategic agenda for the first 100 days on the job. Since the new gig deals with an area of higher education that I’m unfamiliar with, I couldn’t really make an actual strategic plan, so it ended up being an agenda. A meta-plan.
This wasn’t an original idea. I read a book called You’re In Charge—Now What? during the week preceding the interview, and that inspired the 100 day agenda. Though the book was primarily targeted at CEO-types, there was plenty of crossover wisdom for those of us a bit lower on the food chain. I thought the book had some excellent ideas, but the stories they tell are a bit repetitive after a while. I liberally marked up the book and made lots of notes. The last section of the book has the actual 100 day strategic agenda that Gary Kusin used when he was a finalist for the Kinko’s CEO spot. That multi-page, and very impressive, document provided the creative impetus for my one-page example. It was particularly helpful in prompting me to think a little harder about the new job and what it might entail—I think that extra preparation helped a bit during the interview, but it definitely informed the document which I passed around to every person in every interview setting. I’m hoping the agenda gave me an edge, but time will tell.
If you’re interested in what I did, here’s a cleaned up generic strategic agenda as a Word doc (fixed link) and also a copy as a pdf document. I’m curious to hear what folks think of the idea, and whether you’ve done similar things.