Want to work in the tech space? There are literally thousands of companies with thousands of open roles out there – how do you locate the one that fits your description of ‘perfect?’ Founder of Cultivated Culture Austin Belcak has you covered!
Step 1 – The 30,000 foot view
The first step towards locating your dream job is having an idea of what that role looks like on a general level. Still got a few pieces of paper or your Evernote handy? Cool, get a clean slate ready. You’re going to write down:
- A brief description of the role you would play at your ideal job
- Your dream ‘job title’ in your own words
- The industry you want to work in
- Location (and potential travel)
- Your ideal salary
- Your ideal hours
- Ideal team structure
- How this role will help you grow (i.e. is it a rung in the ladder you plan to climb? Is it the last job you take before you start your business?)
- Skills you will need
Here is what I would have created for my last job:
Description: I want a sales role in digital advertising with flexible hours where I am solely judged on my results rather than the # of hours spent in the office
‘Job Title’: Digital Advertising Salesperson
Industry: Digital Marketing/Advertising
Location: New York
Hours: Flexible, top priority is the ability to work remotely
Team Structure: Small and independent (no micromanaging or boss breathing down my neck for 40 hours every week)
Growth: This will be my last role before I start my own business. Because of that it needs to pay well, have good benefits, and flexible working hours
Skills: People/sales, digital advertising certifications (e.g. Google Analytics Certification), proven track record of sales results
Step 2 – Find out what your dream job is called
Every industry has its own culture. There are social norms, different priorities, and languages of their own. In order to locate (and land) your dream role, you need to understand that language. If you want to code Java, what is a person who codes Java called in the programming industry?
I gave myself the job title of ‘Digital Advertising Salesperson’ but in digital advertising a person who sells the product is usually called an Account Executive. So how do you find out what your job is called?
The easiest way to start is using my Dream Job Finder, and searching for:
Job title you gave yourself + Industry
For example, my search would look like this:
Next, spend a few minutes clicking on different results and picking out roles that match some of the criteria you laid out above in the 30,000 ft view. As you begin to find roles that match most of the criteria, take note of their names:
Now that you have a firm idea of what your dream role is called in the industry, it’s time to find your dream company!
Step 3 – Locating your dream company
The next step is actually locating a company with your dream role. There are several ways to go about this:
Contact people who work in your desired industry and get on the phone with them. List out your criteria and ask them how realistic that is and if they know of anything that fits. I’d recommend getting in touch with a salesperson if possible. It is their literal job to know all of the competition in the marketplace so they tend to have the best, most up-to-date advice.
Scouring company career sites
This is the most obvious method, especially if you already have several companies in mind. Head over to their websites and type in your role + location. Scan through the descriptions and see if any of them match a significant portion of your criteria.
Job aggregators (a.k.a. job search engines)
There are many sites, like my Dream Job Finder or Indeed.com, where companies can post jobs with specific keywords. Then users like yourself who are looking for specific roles can come search and find all of the matching positions across companies. The benefit of this method is that it will include companies you know as well as companies you’ve never heard of.
Many larger companies tend to have strict policies around our criteria (for example – no working from home, in the office from 9-5, etc.). On the other side of the coin, smaller companies tend to be a bit more lenient in these categories.
If you’re looking for a 100% match on the above criteria, it may come from a company you haven’t heard of. And that’s ok! The job aggregator will help you uncover those.
New-age placement apps
Recently, several new companies have popped up aiming to disrupt the job-seeking space. I tried out several of them and here’s the one I’d recommend:
Underdog.io – you submit your resume to Underdog where a team of people (or a machine, not really sure) reviews it. They then match you up with employers who are looking for the type of skillset you offer. This is fantastic for two reasons:
1) You don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting when it comes to searching for companies
2) If a company likes you they will reach out to you and set up an interview
Another easy method is simply Googling a few phrases and checking out the results.
You could Google the job title + location and see what comes up. For example, ‘digital advertising sales new york.’
If you’re looking to work at a startup, but aren’t sure which of the thousands you should choose from, you could Google ‘best startups in [location].’ You can even get more specific with the industry – ‘best medical startups in [location].’
If some of your criteria are specific (and are high on your priority list), you could also Google around for lists of companies that meet your standards. For instance, if you are dead set on working from home, type in ‘companies that hire remote workers’ or ‘companies that let you work from home.’
Curated company lists
There are many well known and highly regarded lists of companies broken out by different categories:
- Forbes 100 Best Companies To Work For
- Inc. 5000 (The Fastest Growing Private Companies In America)
- Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies
- Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies
- Crunchbase’s Unicorn Leaderboard
- Forbes Most Valuable Brands
And there you have it! These steps should help you isolate several companies that meet at least a decent amount of your criteria. Now it’s up to you to put all this knowledge to good use!
About the author: Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he teaches people how to land amazing jobs without prior connections or ‘traditional’ experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes and Business Insider and they have helped people land jobs at Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Deloitte, and more. You can click here to access your free referral toolkit that includes everything you need to land a job referral at your dream company in two weeks! Also, click here to read our exclusive interview with Austin where he shares case studies of successful clients and offers his top three unconventional strategies for landing your dream job!