Savvy People Know Where They Want to Work Next

where do you want to work

A successful career is built on knowing what you want AND where you want to work next.

Where do you want to work next? The best way to build a successful career is to know what industry you want the most, what niche you want to work in, which companies are in that niche, and who the people are who work in those companies.

Networking is not interviewing.

Once you know the companies and the names of the people, you can begin to network with them.

  • Networking is not interviewing.
  • Networking is not buying a book from Amazon.
  • Networking is much more like dating than anything else.

Who do you need to know at each company you’re interested in? Someone who is not in your preferred department, someone who is in your preferred department, and the name of the boss of that department. You can look these people up on LinkedIn.

Which of these things would you prefer, if someone wanted to know you?

But once you do, what then? How can you become known liked and trusted and remembered before they need someone who has your skills? Introduce yourself through LinkedIn using a mutual acquaintance, ask to be connected on LinkedIn mentioning a mutual acquaintance, or call directly. Which of these things would you prefer, if someone wanted to know you? It is very important to be both polite and interesting. Everybody, not just you, is busy and overwhelmed these days. Why would someone open your email if they don’t know you? So you must have something interesting in your subject line. Or if you are using LinkedIn, you must use something other than the default connection language that LinkedIn provides.

One way that works is to mention the name of a mutual acquaintance or a LinkedIn group you both belong to. One of the things I say is: “Hi, so-and-so, I saw your name here in LinkedIn in (XYZ) LinkedIn Group and thought we would benefit by being connected.” This is short, to the point, and a bit mysterious.

Another way is to say: “You and I are both connected to (mutual acquaintance) so I asked him if it would be good for us to link in directly. He thought it would be.” But don’t do this unless you have asked your mutual acquaintance if it would be okay with him.

Sometimes I say: “I see that you and I are both connected to (mutual acquaintance) and I thought it would be useful for both of us to connect directly here on LinkedIn”

Thank them and follow up!

Once someone agrees to link in with you, you need to thank them and follow up. Since networking is more about giving, then it is about asking, what can you give to each person?

If you are looking for a job, and have identified three people in each of 30 companies where you want to work and that you think you would fit into for your next job, then you need to have a strategy and a plan for following up with them. In order to do this, you need to keep information about each of these people. You can do this in your notes in LinkedIn, in a separate dossier on your computer, or perhaps even in a notebook on paper. You will want to keep these people on Google alerts and make notes about whatever comes up. These things give you content for your follow-up emails.

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