Today was the busiest day in terms of interviews. An interview with a global agency early in the morning, then a chat with an INSEAD alumnus and his colleagues (I thought it was just to tap my brain about using blogging for Marketing/PR but it ended with a request for my CV, which I provided). Lastly, I just had an interview with a top cosmetics company. On top of these interviews I have 2 other offers to do work which I’m familiar with, in a managerial and/or strategic position.
If reading this depresses you, then stop here.
Because what I am going to say next is: I didn’t apply for any of these positions. I was headhunted, referred by word of mouth or reputation, or shortlisted via Career Services. I know many people are getting dinged. I decided not to apply to lots of random companies but to stick with what I felt comfortable with. Of course, in difficult times it is not easy to get what you want. But I’m not sure if it’s simply ‘luck’, because that implies that these opportunities fell on my lap without me having to work at it.
You see, I began ‘networking’, as some people call it, years ago. I decided I liked social media, PR, marketing and technology quite a while back, and while I didn’t plan to end up getting lots of leads, I mingled with like-minded people, did a few things that got me into the newspapers, generally endeavored to be nice, friendly and helpful to everybody.
I also knew what I didn’t want to do, and where I wanted to work, so I updated my profile in local job search websites and got in touch with headhunters, which resulted in one of these interviews.
Today, my chat with the alum was about wooing new customers via influencers (in this case, bloggers). I saw similarities between selling a product to potential customers, and selling your expertise to potential employers. For both cases, you cannot simply knock on their door and expect them to buy your product (or hire you). Quite often, of course, you can make a pitch on the spot and they might buy it, because you are better qualified than other people who have already knocked on their doors. (PUSH factor)
However, if you have established a network and a reputation for being particularly good at something, your customer will come knocking at your door. (PULL factor)
I am fortunate, blessed, honoured even, to have my door knocked on multiple times, and so my dilemma at INSEAD is not about finding a job but which job I should choose.
Here’s wishing my fellow INSEADers all the best with their job searches. May we make the right choice for our long-term future!