In today’s job market with rampant unemployment, global competition, shrinking industries, and rapidly evolving technologies and business models, an entirely NEW approach to job searching is required.
This new job search strategy requires that you MUST focus on finding jobs that don’t even exist. How can you do that? It’s definitely NOT easy and requires an entirely new mind set as a job seeker, BUT…the results will prove much more rewarding than following the old traditional, conventional approaches that no longer work! Here’s how you do it…
First off, it’s critical that you match you background, values and belief system to the types of culture in organizations that would be attractive to you. It is important to note there are TWO types of culture in any organization. The first is called the FORMAL culture…consider it “aspirational.” It’s what they want to believe it is like to work in their company. That is what they say about themselves. It’s called “spin” or PR. Take it with a grain of salt. The much more useful and instructive information is in the INFORMAL culture. You find that out by speaking with employees, ex-employees, industry analysts. What is it like if you got to walk around their place of business and just watch how people interact with each other? What kind of volunteer work do their employees do, what causes do they support, which politicians do they contribute to? This type of information is INVALUABLE. You find this by conducting informational interviews.
After you have conducted this personal exploration, you are ready to create an action plan. Target 3-4 industries and 6-8 organizations, companies, not for profits, agencies in each. That gives you a manageable search for 18-32 organizations.
Next, research everything you can about those organizations. Their key challenges, latest successes and failures, top competitors, key trends and developments in the markets they compete in. Are they publicly traded? Get their quarterly and annual reports from the SEC EDGAR website. What are analysts writing about them. Have any lawsuits been filed against them. What does their intellectual property (Trademarks, patents and copyrights) look like. How promising?
Next up…identify the person that you would be reporting to in those 18-32 organizations based on your ideal job working in that organization. Research everything there is to find out about that person. Where they went to school, the professional associations/organizations they belong to, any volunteer work they do, articles they wrote, panels they served on…everything!
Once you know as much as you can about them and the challenges they face leading the team in the organization you’d love to work in, write a script of how you would explain to them just how well you can help them overcome the challenges they face in one or or of the following THREE critical areas: 1) make their organization MORE money; 2) save their organization money, and/or 3) improve their organization’s operational efficiencies, processes, systems, structure.
Now that you have a call script, pick up the phone and call them. Explain that you have done research and are in a unique position to help them overcome (list the top 1-2 challenges they face) and ask if they have 15 minutes to sit down with you to discuss that.
It won’t work all the time but it will be MUCH more successful then responding to those nonexistent job postings on Craig’s List, CareerBuilder, Monster, and Yahoo! Hot Jobs.