People are asking me all the time what’s the most important thing to do to move forward with their career transition. This is my answer to this question and I hope it will give you the inputs you need to be successful in your job search in Switzerland.
You Are Successful in Your Job Search by Talking to People
The same principles apply in politics as they do in your career. You have to talk to people to be successful.
Sitting in front of a screen and sending out cold emails to strangers does not count as talking to people, neither does sending out applications to faceless HR departments.
Introducing yourself to others at lunches, gala dinners, conferences, meetups, sports events, the airplane, BBQ and over coffee does.
Don’t think that only people at your career level or above are important for your network, almost everybody you meet and get along with well is. Everybody you know, has a network on its own. You never know who could be in this network.
It’s much more likely that the sales representative, who you get along well with fantastically, will introduce you to his brother who is the CIO of a major high-tech company than the VP of business development, who you just shook hands but did not really click with, will introduce you to his trusted friends.
Choose your new connections not solely based on their ranks but more based on how you get along with them.
Having the Right Communication
If you want to successfully get a new job in Switzerland, just talking is not enough. It’s not so important that you only talk to the “right” people in the first place but you must ask the right questions and tell your story effectively.
You Key Performance Indicators in Job Search
You might be measuring how many applications you send out, stop that. It’s like measuring how many cold calls you make in a sales environment. It was useful 20 years ago but not anymore. Of course you need to keep track about who you send your application to but stop counting them.
There is only one single KPI you should measure during your career transition, to how many real people you talk to every single day. These can be phone calls or face to face talks. Please don’t measure emails or instant messaging.
Go for coffee, lunch and dinner with your friends, colleagues, former bosses and attend meetups.
Where to Start
Most people struggle with starting. They either don’t know where to start or they don’t see how talking to people will lead to a job.
I just spoke to an executive career coaching client of mine this morning about this and how it’s difficult for him to move away from the job boards into the hidden job market as the job boards seem to be the secure place where all the opportunities are. Well, it might seem that way first but you have to understand at which stage a job usually is posted on the job boards.
Usually, the jobs you see advertised are likely to be open already since at least 2-4 weeks at the first day they are published online. This is due to the fact that most companies in Switzerland recruit internally first and only if they can’t find somebody within the entire company for this role, HR will advertise it.
To help you understand better why you should only spend 10% of your time on job boards and how you can leverage your network for your job search in Switzerland, I created a 4-week career transition coaching program that you can join for FREE by signing up for email updates below.
The coaching starts on Monday.
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Get Your First Results in 48 Hours
This is what you can do to get some results from leveraging your network:
1. Call a current or former colleague, former boss or a friend who works in a similar area as yours and set up lunch for tomorrow
2. Ask this person some of the following questions: Is there somebody in your network in Switzerland that you think I should meet based on similar interests? Is there something I can help you with? Do you know of a community in Switzerland where people from [your country] meet? Is there an event that you recently attended or are about to attend that you can recommend? Do you know about an event where [your job title or function] meet?
3. Organize the information you received, set up a meeting with the person you were referred to and attend at least 4 live events over the next 4 weeks.
4. Start all over again with step 1-3