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5 Criteria for Identifying Target Organizations

Note: This is the second of six blog posts detailing the developmental needs that will be addressed in the Resonare Boot Camp starting on July 16, 2020. Feel free to ask questions and to sign up!

The next step to do after clarifying your own needs being in touch with what is really important to you, and to identify what are the places that you would like to actually work for. In my working with thousands of career clients over the past 20 years, I’ve devised a set of five criteria to look at when evaluating companies. I’ve also found that many job seekers are really confused as to what goes into these criteria, so I’d like to clarify them here.

Those five criteria are:

  1. Industry: This is the role that the company or organization fulfills in the market, and it can be broad or narrow. For example: You could say that Dunkin’ Donuts is in the Hospitality industry, the Fast Food industry, or the Coffee Delivery industry. Depending on how you define it for yourself, the competitors for that company would be seen as different. While Starbucks is probably its biggest competitor in the Coffee Delivery industry, McDonald’s or Chipotle might be more of a competitor for Fast Food.
  2. Function: What is the division of the company or organization that you want to work in, and what does it do to help the company be successful. Do you want to work with other people who do the same work that you do, or do you want to be the specialist on a team? The name of the department will often be different depending upon the industry (e.g. College Admissions is the same as Sales), but the function will be similar regardless of the organization.
  3. Job Skills: What actions do you do everyday? Are you organizing? Writing? Dealing with Customers? Negotiating? So often people think about having a job title, but they don’t think about what they are doing day to day. There might be a job title that you don’t know about that does similar actions.
  4. Location: Where do you do your job? In the days of working from home (which is becoming more prevalent all the time, given COVID-19), the location that you work in is becoming more flexible. If you will be going to an office, where is it? How long of a commute are you willing to take? Is the amount of travel and issue?
  5. Corporate Culture: Of all the criteria, this is the one that’s most amorphous. Is it a relaxed “there’s a foosball table and free snacks” type of place, or is it a fast-paced, high energy environment? Companies that are in the same industry can have very different cultures (e.g. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all quite different culturally. You need to know what is good for you, as I have found that this is the main reason that people are unhappy with jobs that they just started, as they didn’t look at this aspect.

While this might seem like an easy distinction, a majority of my clients have problems distinguishing these different parts. I’ve had many say they want to work in the Marketing industry (that’s a function) or in the Writing department (that’s a job skill). By not being clear on how to talk about these things, job seekers cannot communicate their skills sets effectively to people who could help them.

It’s also the key to knowing the order for which criteria is most important and how to start looking for target organizations that fit your desires.

Come join me in the Career Boot Camp starting July 16, 2020 and our second session on Thursday, July 23 will be just this. Other posts in this series are: Clarifying Your Needs, How to Develop a Story, Identifying Your Personal Brand, Telling Your Stories, and Putting It All Together. There’s a limit to 25 participants, so sign up now!

I look forward to you joining us!

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