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On the Outside Looking In

A fresh set of eyes tends to see things more clearly

➔ One counter argument that older job seekers hear a lot is that they don’t have experience in the particular industry where the hiring company exists. In some instances that may be a valid point, but in many other cases, looking at a situation with fresh eyes can be an enormous advantage.

It’s called “outside-in perspective” and most good companies practice it – in one way, shape or form – as a matter of policy. That’s one reason why they hire consultants.

Think of it as companies that focus on customer trends to help direct their product and service development. In the opposite scenario, companies that are more focused on their own processes and continually look inward.

Can this help in a job search?

Absolutely. By casting a fresh set of eyes on a problem, the new person can see solutions, possibilities and problems the inside crew might not even be able to imagine. As a new person coming into a company, that can be a huge advantage.

It’s like the pet food company that spent considerable amounts of money launching a new dog food. They thought that they had covered all their bases by studying the demographics of dog owners, developing an interesting and catchy name for the product. They hired outside consultants to design their product packaging. They crafted a dynamic marketing campaign.

They thought that everything was in place for a successful product launch… but – after some initial success – the product failed miserably. Why? They never tested their new product on dogs to see if they would eat it. The canine outside-in perspective in this case could have saved the company a hefty sum of money and marketplace rejection.

During your job search, you’re the dog tasting the new dog food and providing your taste test.

Even the emperor’s new clothes can’t hide the obvious.


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