An Executive On How To Start A Job Search

Yesterday I had the pleasure of breaking bread with some very cool people. One of them, Luis, was in a job search when I met him about 18 months ago. He made such an impression on me (and my dad, who was with me then, and who was with us yesterday for lunch) that I’ve wanted to keep in touch.

Luis has landed a VP role at a very cool company, an industry leader in his space. I asked him what he would do if he went back to his office and got the inevitable, dreaded pink slip.

I asked him to respond based on what he knew, and what he recently went through (his last job search was not quick). I loved his response and wanted to share it with you:

What are the 4 things I would do in order to search for my next opportunity?

Before I answer your question, let me tell you I am a person that likes efficiency in everything and that greatly influences the picks that follow. Let me also take care of the logistics because every situation is unique and describe a hypothetical scenario where there are no personal circumstances that need to be addressed such as ones originating from a non-friendly departure.

Emotional stability is important to obtain good focus and make good, sound, strategic decisions, which will greatly influence your success and length of job search.

Number ONE for me is to evaluate my financial situation. Not knowing how long the search will take is a fact not to be taken lightly. Analyzing every expense and categorizing as necessary or not can dictate the urgency of the search.

Number TWO is to find out about every networking group close to you. Statistics advertised by professionals in this field tell you “Networking” is the best source for finding your next job. I will also include in this item becoming a member of these groups and participating in their events, projects and meetings so you can “spread the word” and pitch your 30 second commercial often.

Number THREE is to network with as many “C” level executives (CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CIOs, etc) and listen to this “ASKING” them for leads, connections and introductions to decision makers at your “Target” companies. This includes phone calls, lunches, coffee breaks, informational interviews, emails, letters, thank you notes, sporting events, at clubs, churches, PTO meetings, grocery store trips, dry cleaning stores, and every other normal activity that places you in contact with people.

Number FOUR is to help as many people as possible, hopefully with activities that show off your expertise. If you are an IT guy, build PowerPoint presentations that give tutorials or teach people how to solve everyday challenges people around you have. This will keep you sharp and current in your field as well as creating good will that could potentially come back to you in the way of a lead for the next interview and possibly a job. Here is an opportunity to appoint yourself as the expert in your field.

Again, every situation is different and unique, so the order may change for the next person (especially if they are new to job search), and I would recommend doing a self evaluation to find out strengths and concentrate on the search in areas more likely to get results.

It was really cool to get this perspective from a job search alumnus. Luis was laid off from a 20-year career at a great, stable company, and has since landed a VP role. He also volunteers each Monday at a job ministry (in Katy, Texas), and is extremely networked.

Proof? As we were walking out of the restaurant he stopped to say hi to a table full of his friends… I love to see people well-networked enough that they see friends almost everywhere they go!

Thanks for the tips Luis!

2 thoughts on “An Executive On How To Start A Job Search”

  1. Another good way to find a position would be to hire a recruiting professional in your area. They know the landscape of the employment arena in your area and may have more tips on companies that are hiring people with the skills you possess. It would help your finances if you just used a recruiting professional for a short-term position until you found something better!

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