The Best Job Search Strategy You Haven't Tried Already

This Steal-Worthy Strategy Just Changed Your Job Search
by Jacqueline DeMarco
Photos Joe Kathrina | January 19, 2017
You landed your dream job so, basically, you’re over the moon. You find your work interesting and challenging, and you see this new role as a key step on the career path you’re envisioning.
Fast forward 24 months and...you’re hitting snooze one too many times every morning and praying for snow days in July.

It’s not because you hate the job you once loved—it’s never the job itself. More likely, it’s because you hate your company. Maybe there’s tension between you and management on a project or you’re feeling stifled creatively. Your company may not allow the flexibility you need to accommodate your family, or perhaps they haven’t fostered a respectful environment.

Whatever the reason—or more likely reasons—it’s time to start looking again. But you don’t want land in a Groundhog Day-style loop where you end up at a new company with exactly the same issues next time. Which is why this time around you’re going to start your search not looking for the perfect job, but looking for the perfect company.  

Company First

When hunting for a new job, you need to think about not only where you want to be next but what you want for the rest of your career. This is when looking for a new job by company, not position, proves essential. You want to be purposeful about your job search. Focusing on a company is the best way to make sure your job search aligns with your overall career goals and not with immediate needs.

You’ve probably heard that our generation loves immediate gratification, and to be completely honest, searching by company will take longer. There is no guarantee your dream company will be hiring right now or anytime soon, but being selective in your next career move can be so beneficial, especially if you are looking for a job you can stay at for many years to come.

Culture

Are you an all-business kind of girl who thrives off of structure, processes, and a quiet workspace? Then a traditional corporate environment may be the right fit for you. If you crave creativity, the ability to control your schedule, or a casual dress code then you’re primed for a role at a fun-loving startup. Or go work at Google, where you can have the best of both worlds.

You know what you need to be productive, successful, and happy at work, so seek it out. Surely you’ve heard of friends and colleagues working at companies with cultures you envy. Ask if any of their companies are hiring! Or poke around on Glassdoor and look for companies that you think will be a good fit. Those employee reviews are goldmines of knowledge about what it’s really like to work at a company.

Room for Growth

No matter what stage of your career you’re in, you are always going to want to find a company that has room for growth—unless you’ve made it to the C-Suite, in which case you can stop reading this article. In all seriousness, you never, never want to feel stuck so finding a company with potential for growth (and one that loves to promote from within) is key. Of course, you can always look for a new job some day at a different company, but experiencing growth in one place is something you should aim to add to your work experience.

So how do you tell if a company has room for growth? Are they a bustling startup that is growing quickly? If you prove your worth, you may find yourself promoted ten times faster than at a larger company. Are you looking for a more traditional career path where you can learn from experts in your industry? Then a large company may be your best bet to learn and grow at a calm, organized pace.

Industry

Do you find yourself watching Anna Wintour sashay around her office in The September Issue every time you take a sick day? Are you a fitness fanatic who spends her lunch breaks reading health blogs? Maybe every night after work, you pour over the latest tech news on your iPad. You might find a lot of satisfaction in an industry that you’re already passionate about. Why not combine your love of finance and makeup by applying for accounting positions at a beauty company?

Flexibility

For some the predictability and structure of a 9-to-5 is exactly what they need to plan their social life and family activities around. Starting and finishing work at the exact same time every day can be extremely helpful when daycare pickup is non-negotiable! But for many women, flexibility at work is a necessity to be successful and take care of their families. A 2013 survey found that mothers were much more likely than fathers to report experiencing significant career interruptions in order to attend to their families’ needs. Try looking for a company that has benefits for mothers such as paid maternity leave, allows telecommuting or offers job share opportunities. A company that fits into your life and is understanding of your other priorities is one you are more likely to grow with and find job satisfaction in (employers, take note please!).

Tell us what your dream companies are in the comments below. And consider signing up for our new job search course
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