Stalking the elusive new career or position

Stalking the elusive new career


When you use traditional search for anything, you get traditional results.

  1. If you are hunting for a new car and only look on car lots, you will miss all of the cars that pop up on corner lots or are advertised online or in the classifieds.
  2. If you are hunting for a new home and only read the multi-listing, you may miss a great buy that is “for sale by Owner.”
  3. If you need to check out a new concept and only use the dusty encyclopedias on the shelf and never think of using Google, you will miss new definitions and information.

Same thing with job search, different strategies will get you different results:

  1. Using Google to find and check out prospective companies will help you narrow down your options.
  2. Adapting informational interviewing practices will help you talk to people with background about the company, before you submit an untargeted, uninformed resume.
  3. Using LinkedIn to research companies and find connections to the companies you would like will build your knowledge and open the doors to new opportunities.
  4. Using JibberJobber to track your prospects, find network connections to help you get in the door when you are overwhelmed with knowing who you talked to on Thursday and who you are supposed to call back on Wednesday.

My niece, who is currently on the hunt for a new position as an Interior Designer after relocating back home to Seattle from Los Angeles, sent me a link to Kenji Crosland’s site, Unready and Unwilling – Adventures in Self-Employment. He wrote in his post “Three Guerrilla Tactics for your Job Hunt”:

A good intelligence gatherer knows to look beyond the obvious.  They don’t search the job boards because that’s old news. That would be like a spy getting all their info from the newspapers. Instead of looking for companies that have announced that they’re hiring, look for companies that have just received funding or have reported better than expected earnings results. If you introduce yourself to a company president or manager right after the cash starts flowing in, they’ll be much more open-minded to creating a role for you. When a company’s gravy train starts rolling in, hijack it.

Stalking the elusive new career

This is good advice for how to do it differently. Understanding the challenge of today’s job search, taking charge of it and finding help along the way, will help you get interviews and job offers. The person who is relying on the traditional search methods will be left sitting by the phone.

Tim Tyrell-Smith asks a very good question in his post: “250 Words: What Is Your Time Worth? His insightful comments include:

Just because you are not being paid now does not mean your value has dropped.  So, smart activity on your part is a better use of your value and a quicker path to getting paid that wage again with a new company.

When you have that shiny new, value-infused, accomplishment-driven resume, a quality LinkedIn profile, and the well-tuned cover letter that differentiates you from the mobs, how are you going to hunt for the new position? Only using traditional methods? Or do you think it is time to investigate trying new ways?


  1. Ed Han on October 6, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Great stuff, Julie! I would only add a suggestion that job seekers build a list of target employers.

    • Julie Walraven on October 6, 2010 at 8:09 am

      That’s really excellent, Ed. Not only a list of target employers but then figure out how to reach them. I am guessing that you mean a limited “top” list. I think the strategy of sending 250 to 1000 e-mails out to companies is never targeting. You lose focus and so do the companies you were trying to reach. A diluted job search is not an effective one.

  2. Melissa Cooley on October 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    That is an excellent suggestion that makes a lot of sense. It also will be helpful in looking at the flip side — even if a company is one you would like to target, news of a possible takeover might make it a less opportune time to join them. Better to focus on the companies that have good possibilities.

    • Julie Walraven on October 6, 2010 at 10:35 am

      Yes, Melissa, that’s one angle. The other that your comment prompted is that if you are management-driven, if you take a position and hope that it will open the door to future options, look at who is sitting in management seats, are they all comfortable with no future growth. You could stagnate if you want to move up but they don’t and no new upper management positions are in the future for the company.

  3. Julie Walraven on October 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Actually, if you are the right person, with the right connections, I have known people who had the positions created for them because the value that they brought and the solutions they could offer were so essential to the corporation that they found a way to get the person on board. It is all in the networking.

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