Phase 2, Step 6 - Research Your Market
Step 6: This step is about researching your chosen functional area or areas of interest. What are the job titles? What industries employ these people? What are typical days like? What is the hiring process? Choosing the right field or functional area for your unique strengths and talents is the first step in being engaged at work. Knowing as much as possible about the company, industry and functional area in which you plan to accept work increases the likelihood that there will be few surprises on your first days, weeks or months at work. This step is complete when you can clearly articulate what a typical day will be like in your chosen field or fields. What are the qualifications? Who hires when and how? What are the average salaries? What are the trends in the industry and functional area? You should also be able to easily draft a list of questions that you still have that can only be answered by talking with individuals who work in that job area.
- What are some typical job titles in this field?
- What do people with these job titles do in a typical day, month, and year?
- What is a typical career path in this field?
- What qualifications do employers look for in this field?
- What would be an appropriate job title or job titles for someone with my education and experience? Which do I think I would be good at and enjoy?
- What is the hiring process like for this field? What is the timing of hires?
- What do I need to add to my resume to be considered a good candidate for these jobs?
- What are typical industries and geographic areas for this job?
- What are the trends in the industries of interest to me?
- Use Career Beam to research industries and careers. See all online resources here.
- If you are still unsure of your areas of interest, draft a grid of all typical MBA jobs (finance, marketing, human resources, public accounting, consulting, and operations). Add sectors of work such as not-for-profit management, public sector and private sector. Start to narrow down which might be of interest by doing online research. One way to think about work is what percentage of your time do you want to spend working with people vs. working with data, numbers or things?
- Within Career Beam, browse companies that hire a lot of people in your field and start to gather data on advantages of working for small or large companies, private, public or not-for-profit sectors, and specific industries or companies
- Go to LinkedIn and search for people who hold a job title you want. What educational background do they have? What jobs did they start in? What was their career trajectory?
- Go to Monster, Navigator, LinkedIn or NACElink and review job descriptions from your field of interest. Take notes on what you need to add to your resume (experience, certifications, coursework) to be an excellent candidate for these jobs.
Deliverable for GSM5108:
After doing the research, narrow down your job choices to one, two or three fields. Draft a summary of each job choice. Include questions that will help you make the decision as to which field, sector or company would be the best fit for you. Upload this essay to your Optimal Resume portfolio.
After class: Complete your research with the tools introduced in class. Edit your submission and check in with your PCA.
Why this is important:
This step is essential in preparing for your conversations and connections with professionals. Here you are expanding and building off of Step 1 (Survey the MBA Marketplace and Your Professional Work Environment).