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9 counterintuitive job hunt tips
Shake up your usual job hunt approach to find your next great role. You might even meet a CIO who scouts for talent in her local coffee shop (see tip 8).
6. Don’t rule out SMBs or startups
The tendency may be to overvalue roles at large, well-known companies. But the bigger the company, the harder it is for the organization to adapt and take advantage of all the new technology options emerging right now. “Some of the most dynamic change will come from small and mid-sized companies, and you’re missing opportunities if you don’t consider these companies,” Thibodeaux says. Similarly, he adds, many not-yet-well-known startups are particularly hungry for experienced IT leadership and management.
7. Consider functions where you will stand out
Certain leadership and management roles within IT still desperately need more diverse candidates to consider, whether that’s in the area of gender, ethnicity, or other backgrounds, Brown says. “Understand what those jobs are [e.g., infrastructure or security], ensure you have the development and training, and then go for those jobs,” she advises. “Leaders such as myself want to bring in more diversity into the overall organization, and having a rich pipeline to pull from can help with this cause.”
8. Look for unconventional networking opportunities
“Networking doesn’t just happen at events: An opportunity can come from anywhere, and you should look for unstructured opportunities to connect with others,” says Pfeiffer. “At my kids’ school, in the airport, and even at Whole Foods, I’m constantly talking to people, asking for their points of view, and even looking for new team members. I hired the barista from our local coffee shop the week after he completed his MBA. On a long layover in Chicago, I connected with an amazing woman who helped me to fit out a data center.”
9. Go deep when networking
“It’s not who you know – it’s who knows who you know,” says Andrew Atkins, senior vice president of research, innovation, and practice for executive coaching and leadership development firm Bates Communications. “The conventional job hunt advice is to use your network. But it’s less likely someone you know will give you an offer than that they’ll give you an introduction to someone they know.” When touching base with connections, ask them who else they know that they think would be helpful for you to meet.
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