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Discovering the Right Career Opportunity

First the joke: how much time have we all spent in pubs and cocktail bars looking for the 'perfect other' and how many of us have ever found him or her there? One good friend did meet his wife this way except that he tried first to 'meet' her sister who said, "I'm in a relationship, but you should meet my sister." Been married 38 years to said sister. Networking produces results.

As you consider where to research for career opportunities, please be empathetic to the team on the other side of the table. They have to replace 5 or 10 % of their workforce every year which means on-boarding 5-10% of the workforce. There are plenty of rules and regulations about the hiring process which consumes a lot of time and energy in getting around these rules so that some one who actually contributes gets the position. We don't recommend that transitioning veterans go into HR.

Hiring managers prefer a recommended candidate.

Please recall that it's a Battle for Talent and it's harder for them to find you then it is for you to find them. Kind of like searching for high-value targets. One has to think and to act unconventionally. As you explore the possible employment partners in the area, you're not looking for a job or a promotion future, you're searching for an opportunity where your interests, passions and skills map to need.

In our RTP region, I recommend that clients in transition look over four listings of companies:

1. The Council for Entrepreneurial Development: 2. The North Carolina Technology Association:

3. Listing of companies in the Research Triangle Park:

4. My own Linked-In connections.

Step 1 is to scan these horizons to gain a feel of what is there. In short order, you'll be surprised at how many sorts of companies and roles that there are in this area. There's more to the RTP than Cisco and IBM.

Step 2 is to list companies and roles of interest, whether or not that you feel qualified to apply.

Research this companies. What do they say about themselves? What is their reputation in the marketplace? Who are their clients? What are their products? At this point, you realize that research more than networking is what gets jobs.

Step 3 is to speak with your developing and evolving network about your companies of interest.

Do they have related connections?

Step 4: refine and repeat.

An after-thought: career transition is not a contest. No one needs to be impressed. It's an important decision that affects family and consumes much of our time and energy. And it pays-off to be satisfied in the pursuit. A related NY Times article.


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