Researching to get the best possible results from your next role is similar to preparing to sail around the world.
Research, preparation and plotting the right course are all key to successfully navigating and reaching your destination with least risk and in the best possible shape.
Assuming you have gone through the exercise of knowing what it is you want from your career (the ‘destination’) and the path you will take (‘plotting your course’) – it’s important that each career step takes you as close as possible towards your end goal (the ‘navigation’). It’s like sailing a coarse on a yacht. You need to get as close as possible to the mark, in the shortest possible distance with least risk to life and limb!
In my last blog I discussed the benefits of defining the key attributes of your next role in a ‘Role Attributes Template’. Assuming you have undertaken this exercise – the next step is to research the companies you think may deliver most or all of those key attributes.
What are some of the resources you can use during your research?
Social Media: e.g. Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. If you are a member of Linkedin, research companies, their groups and their members. Look for articles that they publish, the contribution they make – you may be able to identify some proof behind their mission and values. Research through social media.
Linkedin Contacts: Touch base with your Linkedin ‘contacts’ who have had some connection with the company you are researching, ask their views. Build your contacts within that company. It’s interesting how many people you will find that you’d lost contact with and the companies they have worked in or are currently working in.
Professional Networks: Use the contacts in your network to gather information and ‘qualify’ your research and assumptions. Use your network to build more contacts and referrals. Ask your career coach if they can provide any recommendations or referrals.
Company Website: What does it say about their business, their strategy, customer type, customer feedback, products, approach, awards, etc?
Internet: Search the internet for any articles outside of the company website and company social media. Have they had any positive or negative press?
Recruitment Consultants: Recruitment consultants can be a fantastic source of information. Research their connections, the companies they recruit for or are well connected to. Contact your consultant(s) for advice and information they can provide. e.g. your ‘fit’ for the company and even particular divisions within that company.
The Company Itself: Ever thought of calling the HR manager or Career Centre Manager? What about the Manager responsible for the area of their business you’d be interested in joining? Now – it’s not about bombarding managers with “I want a job”! It is about “I’m interested in exploring a career in your sector, and am wondering if you’d have some time to share your insights?” People love helping people.
Research takes time. So too, do great outcomes.
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