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A Home Run “Elevator Pitch” to Land that Coveted Flexible Job

If you are in life stage: Pounding the Pavement Posted September 28th, 2017
By Kathryn Sollmann

Two of my coaching clients have done a particularly great job of creating an elevator pitch for flexwork—and their examples can help many other smart women with what can be a daunting and exasperating task.

What, exactly, is a “60-Second Elevator Pitch”?  It’s a brief advertisement that tells any networking contact who you are and the Elevator with opened doorskind of job you’re seeking. It’s obviously not designed for a conversation on an actual elevator—but it drives home the fact that you have about 60 seconds to capture someone’s interest and attention (the same amount of time as an elevator ride).

The fact is that you need that elevator pitch to roll off your tongue. It should be ready for any conversation you have with any person at any time. There are the obvious professional situations…at industry events, networking meetings, as you sit next to the usual commuters. But it’s important to realize that you can make very valuable connections in situations that have nothing to do with the business world: at the bus stop, at the grocery store, on the soccer game sidelines, at a cocktail party and just about everywhere that you come into contact with humans on any given day.

Every person you meet could have valuable connections for your flexible job search. You don’t have to work in advertising, for example, to know someone in advertising…it could be a person’s brother, aunt, neighbor, former college roommate, etc. We all have connections to many people in multiple industries—whether we have high-powered jobs or we manage hearth and home.

The key is to create a compelling elevator pitch that will motivate people you encounter to say “Hey, you should talk to…”. All that networking will lead you to flexible jobs that most often are not advertised in any way and require digging to find.

So here is the first example…what job seeker #1 is going to say “in the elevator” when someone asks, “what are you up to” or “what do you do?”

“I’ve spent the last three years as operations manager/coo for a hedge fund. My 15 years of experience in financial services is broad, so I’m pursuing several options, including client relations, compliance and operations management. While I prefer to stay local, with good support at home I’m able to consider work one or two days in the city. I specialize in roles that involve building internal and external client relationships, negotiation, consultative selling, training and mentoring. Each position in my career has a direct link to regulatory compliance and I have proven to be an effective business manager. Ideally, I’d like to find a flexible client relations or operations role at a hedge fund, mutual fund, asset manager or other financial services business. I’m looking to network among funds and advisors in the NYC or CT/Westchester areas. Do you know anyone who it might make sense to contact?”

And then the second example is from job seeker #2, a woman who is returning to the workforce after several years out. Her answer to the networking question “what do you do?” is…

“Actually, I am looking to return to the workforce. For the past several years, I’ve volunteered with some wonderful non-profit organizations, and I have also done some freelance work. Now I would like a part-time position—either on an interim administrative basis, laying the foundation for a successful fundraising campaign, or helping to plan and execute an event. My focus has been on annual fundraising and all the details that go into planning and executing a successful campaign—recruiting and training volunteers, preparing promotional materials, communications through various forms of social media, and the donor acknowledgement process. I’ve also worked as a volunteer and have provided staff support for numerous fundraising events in the community. Since so many non-profit organizations depend upon individual giving and events to meet their revenue goals, I’d like to immerse myself more deeply into these two areas, plus perform volunteer training on how to be an effective fundraiser for the organization. I’m looking to connect with organizations who might have a need for someone who can lay the groundwork for a successful fundraising program. Do you know of anyone who I should contact?”

Make sure that your elevator pitch can be delivered—like these—in 60 seconds or less. And don’t forget that networking is the #1 way that people find jobs (NOT on internet job boards), so you’ve got to get this elevator pitch thing down pat.

How and where to find flexible jobs is the focus of my upcoming book, “Ambition Redefined: Why the Corner Office Doesn’t Work for Every Woman & What to Do Instead” (Nicholas Brealey, Hachette Business Group, October 2018).



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