Defining What You Want and Knowing How to Get It

12.07.2018 |

Episode #2 of the course How to find a dream job and get hired by Ryan Lecour


Welcome to Day 2!

Now that we’ve adjusted our mindset and defined some terms, it’s time to figure out what we want. After all, the course is about “hidden jobs”—i.e., the ones we don’t necessarily know about yet.


Why Hidden Jobs?

Why not just take the ones readily available and advertised all over the place? Well, that’s why you’re here. You’ve likely already got a sense that there’s something else out there that you have not yet been able to tap into. You would be right.

The best jobs are typically filled before they ever make it to print. Sometimes good jobs will get posted retroactively. Meanwhile, there’s often already a selected or predetermined candidate finishing up the paperwork. The job still gets advertised as legal cover—to “keep things fair.” But the majority of advertised jobs (ones that are truly still vacant) are advertised because not enough people want them. And not enough people want them because they’re not good jobs.

Finding the best jobs requires an interactive approach. If the best jobs are not publicized, it stands to reason that you won’t find them without digging beneath the surface. Digging requires you to get your hands dirty.

Get out there and explore! Visit the people and the culture. We’ll talk more about this in Lessons 3 and 4. But for right now, we have steps to complete before we can even determine how to narrow down our companies of exploration. We need to achieve a clear specific target. We need a “bounty poster” of the job we want.


Creating Your “Bounty Poster”

The key here is to make it specific. We can’t leave it as a “wishy-washy” whim. That’s how many people categorize what they want when it comes to a career. Here’s what I mean (these may sound familiar):

• “I really want to do something in tech.”

• “I’d love to get into venture capital.”

• “I’m passionate about music.”

These categories are vague and not very useful. Arriving at better ones is as simple as filling in blanks. Here are more useful categories:

• “I want to be a business analyst for a small software development company in Portland.”

• “I want to be a fund manager for a large venture capital firm around Palo Alto.”

• “I want to be a composer/producer for a label collective in Chicago.”

Notice there is a very simple structure here. You can literally start by filling in the blanks.

I want to be a ___(specific title)___ for a ___(category of companies)___ in ___(region)___.

Exercise: Create your “bounty poster” statement by filling in the blanks. You might not be able to fill in each blank just yet. That’s okay. At least you know what you must go digging for.

Now, to fill in these blanks, we’ll need to go beyond the job boards to uncover hidden job titles that we may have never known about before.


How to Find Unadvertised Job Titles on LinkedIn

The first step is to connect with people in your industry of interest. Each new connection allows you to view more job titles. Job titles are keywords that you can research to determine which of them are most desirable to you and suit your skill sets.

Step 1 is to mine relevant profiles. Step 2 is to mine the LinkedIn directories. To that end, these two links are going to be helpful for you:

• directories of job titles

• directories of job groups

In the past, LinkedIn had a directory that was categorized by industry. But now, in order to find titles and companies and groups to look up and research in the directories, it’s best to first start with a filter search.

Here’s how to uncover new job titles in any specific industry:

• Click in the search bar, and it should bring up a dropdown where you can then click “people.”

• Click “all filters” and scroll down to “industries.” Type in your industry of choice, and it should give you completed options to choose.

• Add a location filter for your specific region, and click “apply.”

As you can see, we are getting pages and pages of profiles of people with relevant job titles to explore.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss how to start exploring these jobs and the target companies in order to test our “bounty poster” hypothesis through interaction.

Happy job marketeering until then,



Recommended book

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink


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