I've mentioned in the past the need to change jobs to increase my portion of our family earnings.
Gradually for the last six weeks I've been networking and learning how to find a job (haven't done it in years). The world has changed.
In my small rural community a long commute from the nearest big city, executive level jobs are fairly scarce. Classified ads for executives are often come-ons for insurance agencies or MLMs trying to recruite sales people (aka producers). Managerial positions are far too often posted by small retailers or restaurants looking for a night manager at a fast food restaurant.
My first inclination was too search for the invisible jobs - the 80% that are not directly advertised. In my past experience, the quickest approach was to track down connected executive recruiters. I was saddly disabused of this fact when, after lenghty internet searches I couldn't find more than half-a-dozen executive recruiters in NC and VA. Most of the ones I talked with were domiciled in the region but recruited nationally.
Plan B - networking
If you can't find a recruiter - you need to be your own recruiter. To that effect I began social networking, asking friends, neighbors and acquantences for executive level contacts at local and regional companies. This process has slowly opened up a new world or contacts and relationships. It has been most successfuly with a small regional bank. Last week I had lunch with several of the senior VPs, today I had lunch with the President. Through a friend I've obtained an invitation to meet with the Chairman. They've grown quickly so I'm hoping they'll need more leadership strength to integrate their operations. Each meeting puts a piece of the puzzle in place - answering key questions such as: do they need help, could I help them, what are their core values, would I want to join their team, and would this be a challenge?
Eventually, I'll know enough to propose a means for participation in their organization or met enough people for them to be curious.
To a degree I feel they are a bit intimidated by my large corporate experience. I've worked with some of the biggest financial firms in the world. In the end, these companies are more similar than different, but it can create a feeling of distance.
This afternoon and tomorrow I'll schedule a follow-up meeting to strategize with one of the regional leaders and the chairman. This is the most extensive networking I've performed within a single organization that I wasn't selling a major deal (then again a job is a major deal). I'm very pleased they are willing to meet with me, though I wonder if it's out of curiousity (my experience set and skills are rare in this rural community), out of obligation to my referers (it's not too hard to find board members in a small community) or out of need. Either way, I'll know in three weeks.
One interesting thing is that you can find what all the major executives earn by reading their annual report. They will also identify options and equity grants. Quit interesting. You don't want to ask for more than what the President earns unless it's a very unique situation - more likely your acting as an outside advisor.
Right now I see a potential opportunity, but I'm unsure what their alternatives and status quo really are right now. That will be very important to understand before proposing anything aggressive to them.
If nothing happens with this organization, at least I'll have a very strong understanding of their leadership's goals, key issues and opportunities for business performance in our regional market.
have a wonderful day,