This is a guest post from my friend Kevin Donlin, in Minnesota. More on him after the post.
That’s a question I hear almost daily from job seekers.
It’s hard to answer … because it’s the wrong question.
Here’s the real issue beneath that question: “I don’t want to have to think hard about finding the best companies to work for.”
Admit it. You — like me and all humans — hate to think.
It takes time. You have to pick and choose. You might make a mistake. And it can give you a headache.
But unthinking behavior is a sure way to stay unemployed.
So, let’s re-phrase the query, because a well-phrased question is half-answered.
If you’ve been job hunting for more than 4 weeks, ask this question instead: “What have I NOT been willing to do to find the best companies to work for?”
That’s better. And easier to answer. In fact, I can think of 4 things you can do TODAY to find the best employers to work for …
1) Look at your connections on LinkedIn.
I mean really look. Pick 5 people you admire, view their profiles, and look for the following:
- Where do they work now? (Could you work there?)
- Where did they work before? (Could you work there?)
- Who are their clients? (Could you work there?)
- Who are their competitors? (Could you work there?)
- Who are their vendors? (Could you work there?)
Do this for 5, 10, or more people, and you’ll surely find 5-20 prospective employers.
2) Make connections at your last employers.
Specifically, think about everyplace you’ve worked before. Now ask yourself the following questions:
- Could you work there again? (Could you work there again? Don’t snicker — getting re-hired happens every day.)
- Could you work for your former clients?
- Could you work for your former competitors?
- Could you work for your former vendors?
3) Find companies in the news.
Spend 15-20 minutes researching the Business section of your local newspaper, looking for fast, smart, growing companies. Can’t find any? Consider moving (or looking harder).
4) Ask 5 people you admire.
I saved this for last, but it really ought to come first. Because, the more conversations you have, the more people will know about your job search — and the faster you’ll get hired.
So, ask the 5 most-connected people you know for advice.
Tip: Take them all out for coffee, bring a legal pad, take notes. In 30-45 minutes, you’ll surely come away with answers that will shorten your job search. Total cost: Less than $30.
Kevin Donlin has partnered with Dave Perry, one of my all-time favorites in the job search world. I had dinner with Kevin last year in Minneapolis, and got to know him pretty well – he’s a very cool guy, and quite passionate about helping people get results in their job search. Kevin and Dave have a Guerilla Job Search Boot Camp and I hear great things about it from people who have finished it.
Also, here’s a P.S. from Kevin’s email: If you know anyone looking for a job in the Detroit area, please tell them to come meet David Perry and me in person on Sept. 17 — http://www.PutMichiganBackToWork.com. Doesn’t that look cool?
(some of the links in this post are affiliate links)