[This is a guest-post from Brian Kerr]
It was the start of October and I was stuck commuting to work in traffic for 1 hour both ways. Oh yes, and I was working 8am to 6pm…this meant I woke up at 6am and got home at 7pm if I was lucky.
Lucky meant that I got to leave work on-time and traffic was not exceptionally bad that day (from the uncoordinated masses of Apple cultists and Googlers flooding the South Bay highways at their scheduled migration times).
It was one day, while in stop-and-go traffic, enraged by a stressful day of PCB sales to irate electrical engineers… in the midst of listening to Brian Tracy… I decided it was time for me to do better.
Forcing “Job Serendipity”
That night, I set out to force job serendipity upon myself. I crafted an excellent resume and made my LinkedIn up-to-date and active. I spent a good four hours seeing what people where in my networks and seeing if any careers/companies looked promising.
The problem was, everything was promising, because I had already decided I wanted nothing more with the prototype PCB world. So I took a step back and asked… “What do I want?”
I started off by admitting I wanted to do BizDev/Sales. I wanted to travel…everywhere if possible.. in planes.
I wanted to do business with the biggest names in industry and have relationships with top CEOs because I know I will need those to support where I want to be in my far-off distant future.
Rule 1: Align what you are looking for with your personal ambitions.
Then details got harder… “What do I want?” I asked myself again. Ok… it was time for Manta.
I use Manta every time I want to build a list of companies to work for. I search for companies under 100 employees, with revenue greater than $500,000 per employee.
Think about it… if a company has 100 employees and their revenue for the year is 5 million. Sure 5 million is a lot… but per employee, that is only 50k revenue, and that does not even consider the operation costs.
In my experience $500,000 per employee is the sweet spot. This essentially means, you will be treated well there.
Rule 2: Place yourself where there is more than enough to go around
I expanded the list of what I wanted, farther and farther, and farther. I got tired and promptly passed out to go to work the next day. After a long day at work, I went home and continued right where I left off.
Rule 3: Follow through until there is change.
This is where I was ready. The image of the perfect job was in my head, I knew what I wanted and what I did not want. No commute. No traffic. No early mornings. No pseudo-account manager sales job, but a real sales job.
With everything clear… it was time to finish forcing job serendipity upon myself.
I signed-up, made profiles, and posted resumes on every job site I could find. I posted twitter/facebook/LinkedIn Updates. I made sure to browse job postings and reply immediately to those I was interested in at least two times a day, morning and night.
Besides your typically Craigslist and LinkedIn job walls, try:
…and of course, Monster, Indeed, etc — readyforce is also good, and of course OnGig!
Also when reaching out to your networks, be sure to put status updates of relevant stuff to the field you are looking to go into. I have gotten interviews from LinkedIn updates.
Make sure in passing when speaking with your friends to mention what you are looking for… even if they have no connections to the business world, they could meet just the person who can help you the next day at a bar or bus stop. You never know.
I Was Getting Daily Calls From Recruiters After Just 2 Weeks
Shortly after I did all this, I started getting recruiters calling me as they discovered my resume all over the internet. After two weeks, I didn’t have a single day without a recruiter calling me.
I held strong to what I wanted. I passed up a lot of interviews that didn’t match with the core of what I was looking for. (that is the hardest part)
Late November, I was called by a consulting company I had never heard of, but the recruiter explained the role they were looking to fill, and it matched exactly what I had been looking for… except the stock options are delayed by a year… oh well.
Interviews are interviews. I won’t talk about mine. Long-story short, I leveraged my personality and tech background to get the job over a Sr. Sales guy.
Play the Junior Card if you can (cheaper for them, even though you will get paid more).
So it was a win-win. I got a position essentially as a Sales Executive typically requiring about 5-7 years more experience than what I had, and it came with better pay.
After all the people I called and messaged about jobs, and all the ones I interviewed with, they all ultimately lost to a single recruiter finding my resume on some obscure job site and giving me a call.
Remember, landing a job may be chance, but there are thousands of ways to make those chances in your favor.