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Choosing your career path doesn't have to be overwhelming

We're constantly faced with choices to make each and every day.


Which cereal should I eat?


Do I take the toll road to work?


Should I have a salad for lunch?


Skip the gym and sleep in?


The same can be said for narrowing our search when it comes to finding our next role. To keep things simple, I'll share what I've often heard the most from friends or professionals in my network that wonder what or even how to start finding their "next role".


Let's begin with some common advice I hear:


❌ "Find something you're passionate about and you'll never work a day in your life."

❌ "Send as many applications out to as many people as possible! You never know!"

❌ "Oh, you should never do something for the money."

❌ "You should always have something to fall back on"


Instead, I like to reframe things like this:


✅ "Find something that you're genuinely curious about and can see yourself motivated to learn more."

✅ "Make genuine connections with professionals that are within the industry or role you're interested in."

✅ "Know your worth and absolutely do something for the money if it improves your quality of life."

✅ "Continuously make genuine connections and stay curious, you'll have multiple people to lean on."


To break this down further, I want to share a couple of the burning questions I often get from people over the phone regarding that elusive "dream job" - which, let's be honest, no one wants to be exploited and a job should never be something you dream about.


"Did you know that this was the role you always wanted?"

"How did you land this job with no experience?"

"How did you decide this specific industry?"


To answer these questions I use a formula that looks something like this:




Let's break it down.


We can't boil the ocean when deciding where to work or what to do, so instead, we have to think strategically with our approach and narrow it down.

  • Industry: Pick 5-10 industries that seem interesting

  • Curiosity: Once you determine 5-10 industries, see which 5 pique your interest the most

  • Mission: Research the website, understand the leadership there and the company mission

  • Contact: Find someone in the role at one of these companies and request to chat for 20 minute


As you're doing this, you're going to find out a few things about yourself and the perception you have of those specific industries and roles.


One of my favorite parts about this formula is the final piece, contact. You have to show people that you're invested in them without asking for anything in return, other than their time. You may be surprised to learn that although most people in these roles are stuck in their grind receiving a message from you may be the best part of their day. When you reach out and show genuine interest, they may not respond right away for a meeting but hey, worth a try, right? Also, if someone doesn't give you the time of day in exchange for say, a digital Starbucks gift card, maybe that says more about the culture there and to steer clear. It's important to like who you work with and that relationship be reciprocal.


Now that we've seen the formula, let's talk through the resources I've used to get me in the door.

(Notice that we haven't even talked about resumes, course work, or any other nonsense to prepare.)


Here's what I use:

  • Chat GPT for a quick scan of companies, role specific questions, how to interview, and any burning questions I might have.

  • LinkedIn Premium (free version works ok), but I highly recommend purchasing premium if you're getting serious about changing careers. You can see who all checks out your profile (including hiring managers!). Access to more connection requests in a week without hitting the maximum. Check it out for yourself, but I highly recommend.

  • Search "Form 10K [insert company name]" - I learned this in my first sales role. Public companies are required to publish earnings and financial health of the business every year but what may fascinate you the most and give you insight to their mission or if they're a good fit is what comes next.

    • These Form 10Ks give you line item objectives they have to help close gaps and goals they have. How much room they have for growth in research/development or more importantly to the point of my blog post - signals that they're healthy enough to HIRE this year.

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator* ($80 /mo)

    • This one is completely optional and not necessary but I'll share some of the most important details; this allows you to search every possible LinkedIn user in the form of what looks like a database. Imagine being able to filter companies, contacts at companies, see buying signals, if they're growing the team, what that growth looks like, and helps you narrow down industry and role specific contacts. Again, this one might be overkill to those just starting out but could be a huge factor in helping you get an inside look of a company before reaching out to learn more.

  • Loom (free version is ok)

    • I absolutely love this tool and it's helped me save so much time, do video recording and screen grabbing at the same time. Imagine the possibilities!

    • I'd need to dedicate a whole separate post to how awesome and creative this tool is but this is the perfect way to do a quick video introduction of yourself, maybe show off your portfolio, and get the attention of a recruiter, right away by slipping into those DMs.


This is just a short form of possibilities to get started with. I'll have more to post again this week on other topics but, if you have specific topics you'd like me to cover, send me a private message!


JM

3/26/24


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