FIRST STEPS- I recommend that you begin your market research efforts with these initial steps:
Review the Rankings– Find out the company’s ratings. Do a little web research (Google, CNNmoney); buy yourself the Wall Street Journal, or if you’re in Southern California, the LA Business Journal; is the company filing for bankruptcy? Find out as much as you can about the company including their strengths and weaknesses. Is it a secure place to work? Will it be around for the next 5 years? If the company has been around for the last 20 years with steady returns, it’s probably a safe bet.
Interview Them– The best way to get a feel for the company you want to work for is to find someone in the inside. Find someone that currently works there and do an informational interview. Everyone eats lunch and most contact information is on-line. Send out an email where you tell them you are a new professional and are interested in what they do as a career choice. You would like to schedule an informational interview over lunch (offer to buy them lunch so that they are more inclined to say yes). Everyone loves to talk about themselves and what they do. If you don’t hear back from them after a week or two, I would give them a follow up call. They might of thought you were spam that got through the filters or there was a catch with the lunch. Once you meet for lunch, that’s a valuable opportunity to get the info you want about the company. Some people will even tell you about positions available and the type of person they are looking for. You’ve hit gold!
Research the Job Ad– Often times, positions new professionals apply for are above their qualifications. Make sure you meet the minimum quals when applying. Ideally, you would meet the desired qualifications when applying, but many times that doesn’t happen. Don’t be affraid to throw your name into the pool if it’s a step up from what you do now. Companies are always looking for new talent. But before you do, make sure you do your research!
Rich Dad Says: “Make sure you practice ‘due diligence.’”