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💡 Invincible Tip - Find the Hidden Jobs (Issue #434)
The hidden job market is very real
Recently, my friend’s mentor said, “Hey, don’t forget to send your updated resume to Susan, the head of (redacted). She’s not going to post that open role on her team until she hears from you. She really likes you and wants to give you the first crack at it. I think the job is yours if you want it.”
Occasionally, I’ll mention the “hidden job market” and someone is skeptical. They don’t believe there are jobs that aren’t listed on company career pages or various job sites. So, I was glad to hear that I’m not crazy. The hidden market is alive and well.
Several years ago, Suzie Welch interviewed Dick Costolo to talk about what it takes to get hired by one of the top tech companies. She mentioned Google receives over 1 million job applications each year, and most of those come from people who are contacting the company cold or just applying online. Not smart.
“…that’s generally not how people get hired at Google, or Amazon, or any of the big tech companies. Nobody gets a job by clicking a button.”
— Dick Costolo
When I talk about this online, the response I frequently receive is, “That’s not fair! It’s nepotism. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that!”
Yes, there are many things that happen in this world that we wish did not. There are so many things we wish people weren’t allowed to do. But, like it or not, they still happen.
The question is, what are you going to do about it?
I hate to break your heart, but you can’t stop hiring managers from pursuing the people they most want on their teams. No one wants to risk a bad hire, especially in this market.
So, they stack the deck in their favor. They do their best to ensure the person they hire has the right talent, intelligence, skills, experience, and attitude to excel in their team. They tap into their private talent pool.
They let talented people know they’re opening a new position soon and would love to hire them for it. Every smart manager maintains a “Dream Team” list just for this occasion.
They ask their employees for referrals (e.g., “Who is the best product manager you know?”).
They quietly let trusted people in their network know they are looking for a specific type of person (e.g., a brilliant designer with iOS app development experience known for delivering high-quality work).
You can cry and complain about the reality of this hidden market while you watch other people land jobs more easily. Or, you can accept that it exists and start playing the game, too.
How do you do that? Well, there are a few things you can do to ensure your name comes up when a hiring manager taps into the hidden job market.
Be damn good at what you do (e.g., keep improving your knowledge and skills, stack up project wins, and track your success metrics).
Work really well with others (i.e., don’t gain a reputation for being a jerk to work with).
Be highly visible, so people see your name frequently and think of you when the time is right (e.g., post smart stuff on social media and LinkedIn).
Keep your network powerful, fresh, and active (e.g., intelligently connect and reconnect with people). How are you going to hear about those hidden jobs if you’re not talking with people every week?
Be a giver known for proactively helping other people (e.g., connecting others with good job opportunities).
Don’t be a pain to manage (i.e., no boss wants to hire someone who will be a headache).
The biggest jumps in your career are going to come from these hidden jobs. They are going to come from you seizing opportunities and intentionally taking your career down the path you have planned out for yourself.
Don’t limit yourself to the obvious jobs that everyone else sees. Don’t compete the traditional way, unless you want to be ghosted the traditional way.
This week’s professional development challenge
⭐ Document Your Strengths and Weaknesses
This exercise is about you and what you know about your strengths and weaknesses vs. how you performed in a particular role or situation. I want you to think about yourself from your earliest childhood memories up until the events of yesterday. More importantly, think about how you want to be perceived and remembered. Aspirationally, how do you want to see yourself? You are the one writing your story. You get to decide what goes into it.
Hi, I’m Larry Cornett, a Personal Coach who can work with you to optimize your career, life, or business. My mission is to help you take complete control of your work and life so you can become a more “Invincible You.” I currently live in Northern California near Lake Tahoe with my wife and our Great Dane. Oh yeah… I worked out today.