Effective Methods for Increasing Competitiveness: Foster Your Strengths and Avoid Your Weaknesses

June 23, 2015 3 mins read
Effective Methods for Increasing Competitiveness: Foster Your Strengths and Avoid Your Weaknesses

Every year we see hundreds and thousands of job applicants and we have discovered that the applicants who outshine the rest are almost invariably those who choose to hone their talents within a particular area of specialization.

Many people assume that, by juggling multiple sectors, a person is able to achieve all-round development. However, in truth, each sector has its own uniqueness, and understanding each area requires significant investment of time.

As a result, companies continue to sort the professional duties of their employees according to subtle and diverse categories. You can only truly contribute to a company’s profits and efficient operations by becoming an expert of your chosen sector. Becoming a master of your field has become the major criteria that will make you stand out from other candidates. During recruitment, we have noticed that many candidates have, over the course of several years of work experience, switched from one field to another. As far as a recruiter is concerned, the most important work experience is your most recent one. According to the Chinese idiom, "changing one's trade is like traversing a mountain", and, "those who switch trades will experience three years of poverty. " However, within this context, "poverty" is not limited to its literal sense—if anything, here it refers more to the weakening of one's competitiveness.

From another perspective, companies generally want to find an employee who is an expert in their field and whose addition will help resolve troublesome dilemmas. They're not interested in hiring newcomers who have just grasped a new skillset. For instance, different trades do not vary greatly in terms of their purchasing process. One could be forgiven for thinking that the transition from, say, direct purchasing to working with an intermediary — or from one type of product to another would be simple, but in fact it's anything but. Each field has its own specialists who have not only mastered the process with which their colleagues are also familiar, but have also a refined the ability to adapt to changes in their trade. These specialists have come to understand the relation between different suppliers of different products and developed a professional social network through several years of experience. When performing a similar, rivalling role as such specialists, you will pale into comparison irrespective of your talents in other fields; in other words, when you compete against someone in a field where they are an expert and you are a novice, it's not hard to guess who will win.

Therefore, we advise that candidates first mentally organize their advantages and talents before considering a certain opportunity. Professionals should purposefully and methodically search for the job that is best suited to them by taking into account the long-term course of their professional development, as well as the fields in which they have received the most training.

Alan Li's picture
Alan Li
Operations Director, Greater China