This second article in our series on the The Pefect Job Quest is about Starting to Search. You have began your preparation work already (the first article) and now you are getting ready to go out and hunt for that perfect opportunity.
Here are key elements to making a successful search:
Network, Network, Network
Go out and meet people. Networking has developed a strange connotation these days as being very formal, only devoted to certain prescribed occasions and perhaps belonging to a specific group, but that is not the case. Networking is really about meeting people and letting people get to know you.
There is a skill to working a room, which can be perfected; making people remember you. If you have taken some of the lessons from the first article, you will have plenty for people to talk to you about already.
Finally, it is generally a given principle that you might not get what you are looking for from the person standing in front of you, but he might introduce you to that perfect connection.
People like People like themselves
It is another truism that people like people like them, or the phrase ‘like attracts like’. Therefore make sure you spend time in places where representatives of the companies and industries that you like, or want to work with, also attend. Conferences, Lectures, Bars, Clubs and other places and events. But also expand that to social and leisure areas too; for example, there is a fad for Ping Pong within the tech community, so pick up that paddle.
I would caveat that advice by adding that you should not fish in the same pond all the time. Expand your horizons, you never know, the chap standing next to you at the football match might be the CEO of your favourite company.
Decide the Deal Breakers
If you are looking at hundreds of adverts, postings and the like trying to sort out which one is right for you, or if you have choices with regards to positions, one of the first things to do is make a list of things that are non-negotiable for you and then stick to them.
It may be a salary level, a location, a set of perks, whatever it is, write these Deal breakers down and judge each opportunity by those 1 or 2 criteria and don’t compromise. You will regret it later and those things on which you compromised will make you complain and may even give you cause to leave the job.
Decided what you don’t want first, before you decide what you do want.
Open Doors, the smart way
If, as we hope you have, taken on board the advice to build yourself up to be a thought leader in your chosen area, then you have opportunities to exploit that when you need to.
A key person in a company will not take a cold call from someone looking for a job, but they will take a call from a blogger or podcaster that covers the area they operate in. Especially, if that person is generally not interviewed.
This is just one way to open the door the smart way.
Working the Recruiters
Always make friends when you don’t need them, the saying goes, and the same is true of headhunters and recruiters. If you are not currently hunting it is always good to stay in touch with those people that cover your industry to see what is happening. They are good sources of information and a cup of coffee or breakfast every so often will give you a good perspective over the industry and will help you when you want to move on.
Also, if you know of people who they might like to work with, then be generous with your contacts.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get
My Grandmother used to say this to me all the time and it was brought home by another successful businessman I knew. Both would ask for small to outrageous things such as, free desserts, discounts, airline upgrades and more.
This applies here, if you don’t ask people if they know of a position in that company or a contact you want, then you might never get it.
So do ask, but, as we always say, ask politely and if they say no or cannot help, then shrug it off and move on.
Next week we move on to Getting that Resume Right – how to design a CV that will help not hinder.
For a more in depth into the Perfect Interview, please look at our course http://codeofthegentleman.com/course/the-perfect-job-interview/