I’m Ready to Change, Where do I Start?

how to get started in a scary/exciting thingHere’s a question I saw this morning in my e-mail:

I am seeking to end my tenure with a major [type of industry] company after nine years of employment. I am stagnant and need to have more opportunity to grow and further enhance my professional skills. Any recruiter or input from hiring sources would be deeply appreciated.

And here’s my response:

If you haven’t done so yet, I recommend listing out all of the “people that you know.” It doesn’t matter how you know them, how well you know them, where you met them, etc. Just start to make this list of your network.

Then, make a list of companies that might have a position that you are interested in. I work in IT, so all companies have something (whether big or small) that I would be interested in.

You can then take both lists and start to work them. Figure out what companies you are *really* interested in, maybe narrow it down to about 5, and approach people in your network like this:

“I’m looking for another opportunity somewhere, I’m really interested in xyz (your profession), do you know anyone that has a connection with A, B, or C companies?”

This way you are asking a very specific question that they can help with. I found this to be much more effective than just letting them know I was in a job search. As a bonus, many times this specific question might turn into a response like “no, but I know someone at Company D, which is their competitor.” It gets their brain going with ideas.

Don’t forget to beef up your LinkedIn profile (so the right people can find you!).

Additional thoughts:

  • Get a free-for-life account on JibberJobber. You can put your company list and network list in there, and each time something happens you can log it (and create action items). Trust me, it’s easy to do in your head for about a week, then on Excel for another couple of weeks, but if you are seriously in a relationship-building state, you need something more industrial.
  • Pick up my book I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? (now on Amazon!). This is for those that need LinkedIn help… whether you know what you are doing or not.
  • Watch this hot-off-the-press video (recorded webinar) from the master of Guerrilla Job Hunting, David Perry, and his collegue Kevin Donlin. This 90 minute presentation is excellent – excellent!
  • Finally, coming up with a list of 100 companies should be fairly easy. Obviously you will list the companies that you have seen on your commutes into work, but don’t neglect the customers, vendors and prospects that you worked with at your job (or past jobs). You already have relationships with these people – if nothing else, they might be great leads to network into other companies.

What am I missing?

3 thoughts on “I’m Ready to Change, Where do I Start?”

  1. Here is my recommendation:

    First, spend some time thinking about, journaling about what you would like to do next. It is one thing to end your career of 9 years, but if you don’t have a road map you may find yourself walking in circles for the next couple of years.

    Second, once you have some ideas about what you want to do next, develop a plan. Create an exit strategy, create a re-entry strategy into the next thing you want to do.

    Third, DON’T burn any bridges. You have been in the organization or industry for 9 years. Use the relationships to help transition you. You don’t know who those people are connected to (LinkedIn). Once you have made your exit, stay in contact with people from the organization/industry. I am sure there are at least 3 or 4 people you have developed relationship with.. stay in contact with them.

    Lastly, Growth is important and I hear beyond the words you have written, a need, a desire to grow. What does that look like? Are you looking to grow in your skills and abilities? Are you looking for more responsibility? Determine where the desire is and ensure that you create space for the desire to grow in your plan for “what’s next.” I am happy to chat more if you would like to speak to me. I am available by email or by phone. Jason knows how to reach me. I am happy to help any way I can.

    Interview Guru

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