An accomplished young woman emailed me today asking,
“What do you think is the best strategy for job hunting?”
I don’t your specific situation but here’s some general advice:
1) Never stop hunting. Never assume your the job that you do, or the company you work in will even exist in ten years. You shouldn’t be a job-hopper, but consider it a lifelong pursuit to be on the lookout for great opportunities.
2) Develop a personal brand. Do things that will set you apart from the 90% of people who just don’t care. Be visible. Deliver a workshop at an industry conference, write an article for an industry magazine, blog, volunteer for stuff, write a how-to manual and indie publish it on Amazon Kindle. You can begin this at any age or level of career…it’s way easier to do than people realize.
3) Meet successful people. Very few jobs are filled with random people applying from an ad. Usually people refer people they know and trust. The best way to meet a lot of very successful people is to volunteer (again). Volunteer to join the fund raising committee for the local art gallery and you’ll build relationships with 30 wealthy art lovers; volunteer for your local congressperson’s “finance committee” and you’ll meet 50 successful lawyers and business people, volunteer for the local Chamber of Commerce and you’ll interact with 100 CEOs, etc. etc.
4) If you are eager for a new job right now, make a “Dream 10” list–the 10 companies you would most want to work in. Beg, cajole, harass your way into ANY job in one of your Dream 10 companies. Use LinkedIn and friends-of-friends to get introductions. Go beg the CEO as she walks from her car to the front door each morning. Be creative; be different. Even if it isn’t your dream JOB, even if it means a small pay cut, once you are inside your dream COMPANY, it is far easier to move onto the team, or into the role, that you truly want.
Check out Kevin Kruse’s new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, and discover how leaders turn apathetic groups into emotionally committed teams.
Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. For insider tips and exclusive content, join his newsletter at kevinkruse.com.