Career track research consistently shows that most MBAs will have seven or more employers over their working lifetime and 20 or more different jobs within those employers. Sometimes this means you will elect to leave your employer and at other times the employer will elect to leave you. So be prepared to do job hunts multiple times in the future.
At the C-suite level in mid and large-sized companies, 90 percent of all positions filled by outsiders are done so with the use of executive search consultants (aka headhunters). Combining meticulous secondary research with their own vast list of personal contacts, headhunters can fairly quickly zero in on likely candidates and begin the evaluation and wooing processes. The person-to-person approach is the name of the game at high levels.
But what about persons at the middle or lower level management ranks or those who are solo contributors such as sales, engineering, customer service and so on? What methods of job search work best? Well, contrary to what some might think about the use and effectiveness of e-job boards such as Monster.com., all the independent research indicates 66 to over 90 percent of all mid-level jobs are initially located via interpersonal relationships and personal communications; not by answering digital or paper ads, sending out hundreds of resumes to potential employers or by walking in and filling out an application.
To see if AU MBAs have practiced the interpersonal method of job finding, I asked two recent classes how they came to their present job. With only a few exceptions, all the students who responded got their jobs through networking or other types of interpersonal relationships. Point: job finding is mostly a people thing.
The key is to have a wide range of “relationships” and “networks” in place before you need them. This takes time and effort and relationship building is a two-way street – half about you and your needs, half about the other party.
Here are a few simply ways to develop a broad network of persons who might help when your crunch time comes:
- Get to know as many people as you can where you presently work.
- If co-workers leave, stay in touch with them; ditto for as many persons as you can from former places of employment.
- If you are a current MBA student, get to really know the others in your cohort and your professors.
- If you are a graduate, stay in touch with former classmates and profs; ditto for your undergraduate classmates and friends.
- Join a professional organization in your discipline and get involved.
- Join a not for profit (in addition to your church) and get involved.
- If you are a church goer, get involved.
- Get on the email newsletters of your local chamber of commerce and try to attend some of its events, especially the networking specific events.
The more people you know who think well of you, the more likely you can get help from them when needed. But, again, it is a two-way street; extend your hand too, and don’t depend on the “Monster.com myth.”
– Dr. Charles Waldo, Professor of Marketing
Dr. Waldo is a guest blogger for the AU MBA Program