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Five Main Routes to an Executive-Level Job outside Your Current Company

I can't know your situation at this moment.

Your degree of job satisfaction may range anywhere from totally delighted to utterly disgusted. You may even be unemployed and in the midst of an all-out search for your next position.

You may be so pleased with your current employer and your progress that you don't want to hear about any opportunity unless it can advance your career at least three to five years. At the other extreme, you may be delighted to hear about anything even remotely close to your latest job.

Over the years, your circumstances will vary. And you'll probably come back to this book at different stages of your career. Therefore, we'll proceed on the broadest possible assumption...that you're interested in everything you can possibly know about changing jobs. This is a complex and fascinating subject, but it centers on just a few fundamentals.

The Five Methods Four are classics. One is newer.

Until nearly the end of the '90s there were only four basic routes to an executive-level job outside your current company. Anything else was a minor variation.
  1. Personal Contacts...getting in touch with people you already know.
  2. Networking...getting in touch with a series of people others refer you to.
  3. Executive Recruiters...dealing with the various species of "headhunters."
  4. Direct Mail...letting the Postal Service take your message more places than you can visit and phone.

    Now, of course, there's also a fifth way.

  5. The Internet...taking advantage of modem technology in job-hunting and career management.

With No. 5-the Internet - a modern medium crowds out older ones, as technology is applied to Nos. 3 and 4.

Look at and the others. They're incredibly cost-efficient. Newspapers have huge costs-reporters, editors, paper, printing, delivery, etc. Web sites have none of those expenses. They're highly profitable and these days can afford enormous ad campaigns, including TV spots on the Super Bowl. With low overhead as their competitive advantage, the Web sites have nearly driven most newspapers out of the executive employment advertising business.

First, No. 3 - the Executive Recruiter Dimension: Who's advertising job openings on the employment Web sites? The same people who formerly used newspaper ads...headhunters (No. 3) and corporations. Later, we'll discuss headhunters in detail. We'll observe the various games they play, and determine how you can protect and advance yourself, regardless of what they're up to. Just remember that almost all of the headhunters on nearly all of the job sites are the very same type of firm-one of only two types-and perhaps not the type that best fits your needs.

And Secondly, No. 4 - the Direct Mail Dimension: What are you doing when you post your resume on a Web site? Basically, the same thing you're doing when you mail an unsolicited resume to a search firm or a company. You're sending out your information in the hope that they'll have or get an opening you fit. Now, however, you're using wires instead of paper and stamps. And, of course, zapping is a lot quicker, easier, and cheaper than mailing.

But who are your recipients?

Are they the same firms you'd address your envelopes to in a well-thought- out direct mail campaign? No! Nearly all of the headhunters paying the modest fees required to post their openings on an employment site and to view its resume database are not the ones you would intentionally mail to.

Why not? Well, just hang on. We'll cover that...and so much more.

Structuring Our Time Together

Before we're finished, we'll not only cover the essentials, we'll also sweep up a number of minor related possibilities...such as answering on-paper advertisements which now are mostly in trade publications, not newspapers. We'll also examine an intriguing alternative that doesn't aim for a corporate payroll but may put you there any way...becoming an independent consultant. Plus many other matters, such as resumes, interviews, "outplacement," the implications of e-mailing vs. "snail-mailing" your paperwork, and all the issues involved in negotiating your compensation. But let's format our discussion around the five most basic and powerful job-changing methods.

Each of those five will get enough attention to exploit all of its possibilities and avoid its pitfalls: one chapter each, for Personal Contacts and Networking; plus six for Executive Recruiters and three for Direct Mail. We'll point out Internet implications everywhere they're an option throughout those eleven chapters. Then we'll blitz the Net with its own mega-chapter. These matters will take up over half of our time together... 12 of 20 I've organized with them. But there's lots more to know, and we'll deal with it all.

The End Game

You've played video games. They're usually pretty vicious. And often the objective is to be the last person standing. Somewhat the same thing happens when a very desirable job is filled. There are multiple candidates to begin with, and your goal is (1) to get into the game and (2) to survive all other contenders.

Does that mean you should play tough and nasty?

Not at all! But bear this in mind: you will almost never be the sole prospect for any promotion or new job. So get ready to reach out for whatever you desire and deserve, recognizing that others will be desirous and deserving too. The outcome will depend to some extent on your skills as a player. Please play fair. Be a person you can fully respect at all times. But don't hesitate to become skillful...and play to win.


THIS is not quite what it appears to be.

It looks like a reference book...and it will be when you come back to it later.

But right now it's more of a novel.

So kick off your shoes, relax, and go straight through. That's the only way to get what's really in THIS.

If you read 100% by skipping around, you'll see about 50% of what's going on...and not even the better half, because the real story is sequential and beneath the surface.
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