So here’s the deal. In my executive network meetings there’s a lot of talk about looking for a company, not a job. It makes a lot of sense and lots of experts talk about it. So we will sit around and talk about companies that we’re interested in, someone will bring up a new company and see if anyone knows anything about it and stuff like that. It is a great brainstorm session on companies that people are looking at getting into. There is little-to-no discussion of any particular job title because it is more important for this high-power group to talk about CxO issues around the company.
But yesterday I get a call from a headhunter (yep, my profile is on Monster where all you recruiters can still find it) asking me if I’m interested in a VP of IT position, salary range is $100k-$130k (which I think is pretty good for the Salt Lake area). I asked her who the company was but she said she couldn’t tell me, only that it was about $200M.
I’m moving forward with JibberJobber so I tell her I’m not interested but I’d be happy to think about who I know that might be qualified.
So, here’s where the proactive-reactive thing comes into play. If I’m looking for a company-not-a-job, and I don’t even know what company this is, should I tell her I’m interested? That would mean I’m switching to looking for a job I’m confused. My take is, have a proactive strategy where you look for the company, but don’t overlook a reactive strategy where you take care of things that fall in your lap. Here’s why:
- Interviewing is a great exercise. Whether you are actively looking for a job, happily employed or somewhere inbetween, it is a great way to keep some skills up and get in the proper frame of mind. If you have the opportunity, go to the interview!
- Let’s assume this company turns out to NOT be one of your target companies. Maybe your target companies is a bad list, and in the interview process you find out that this is a really really cool company! Don’t cross it off the list just because it isn’t on your list.
- Meeting this recruiter and the hiring manager would be a great way to expand your network! Think about it, recruiters are power connectors and they need to know who you are. The hiring manager would be someone that you *should* know, and have in your network, and this is a great way to begin a relationship with him/her.
If it just flat-out isn’t going to work out (like in my case) then open up your network to the recruiter. That puts you at the top of their list and they will remember that, and you never know when they can reciprocate.
So, be proactive-reactive! But don’t self-combust
I know this seems like common sense but when you are on the front-line of the job search it is easier than you would think to maintain a myopic perspective of what you should be doing, and overlook something like this.