Monday, May 2, 2011

Final Thoughts

Wow. I can't believe it's over so soon.

In just a handful of months, the 2-Hour Job Search took me from a stressed-out, burnt-out job seeker to a confident, relaxed MBA with his dream internship.

Did it take only two hours? Of course not.

But did it change the trajectory of my life? Absolutely.

More than the 150+ hours and extra stress that the process saved, it gave me the permission to pursue my dreams.

And so, no matter where life takes me next, I know that I'll be in full pursuit of my passions, powered by the organization and confidence that this approach instills.

Step 8: Decision Time

At the same time that I was pursuing off-campus opportunities, I received offers from a handful of firms interviewing on campus. Being able to see, at a glance, how these firms stacked up against the others on my spreadsheet, I was able to confidently accept a role at Apple, knowing that it was one of my top 5-6.

Key Insights: My Achilles Heel is my constant regret aground life decisions - what could have been? And this normally leads to paralysis at decision time. But since Steve's method helped me sort out all of those swirling variables well in advance, when it came time to make the call, I felt ready to do so - with no regrets!

Time Savings: No sleepless nights, no tossing and turning - just a confident decision and 15 hours of anxiety saved.

Stress Reduction: I can't emphasize enough how much peace of mind this method generated: -50 mm HG.

Step 7: TIARA

Sure enough, within three days of sending me my initial emails, the boosters were coming out of the woodwork - and I had informational interviews set-up at Google, EA, and LucasArts. Normally, I'm a total doofus when it comes to chit-chat, but using the TIARA approach, I was able to ask the right questions at the right times, leading to an interview invitation from the Big G.

Key Insights: Don't freak out with informationals - instead, see them as an opportunity to learn things you could never find online. The TIARA approach recognizes that people love to talk about themselves and their opinions, so the key is just giving them a platform to do so.

Time Savings: Getting the kind of insider insight that comes from boosters would probably take about 20 hours of trolling other sources (newspapers, blogs, etc.).

Stress Reduction: Actually getting an interview offer from a firm that wouldn't give me the time of day before this method was a huge ego boost - and stress reliever. -20 mm HG!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Step 6: Outreach

Time for the rubber to hit the road. Having identified three firms in my top 10 that are currently hiring (Google, EA, and LucasArts), I put the outreach plan into action.

Key Insights: As a bit of a perfectionist, it was hard at first to give up the idea of writing super personalized messages to each of the contacts at my target firms. However, once I accepted the booster-testing method, I really got on a roll, sending one message after another without mental blocks.

Time Savings: Estimating that a typical personalized message would have taken me at least 30 minutes per contact, I saved three hours by reaching out using the 2HJS method.

Stress Reduction: Not hyperventilating about picking just the right words in each message definitely took another 10 mm HG off the ol' BP!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Step 5.2: The Results Are In!

Sorry for the delay sports fans! Exams, holidays, and on-campus interviewing put my job search experiment on hiatus as the calendar flipped over.

But I'm happy to report that I'm back in action - and back with the much-anticipated results of my social question-answering service test:

As you might recall from last time, I was trying desperately to track down a connection at Dreambox, a small educational gaming firm that was in my top 10. And so I turned to both Aardvark and Facebook Questions for help.

Alas, it looks like the final outcome was... a tie. Neither service was able to turn up anything, although at least Aardvark sent me a nice follow-up.

Maybe the lesson here is that I need to work on my network as well as my job searching!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A New Tool Emerges?

OK, if you've been following along so far, you know that I'm a bit of an efficiency freak. So before diving into the outreach phase of my search, I wanted to make sure my current results are as comprehensive as possible. And to do that, I had to make sure I was using the best tools.

Not content with just connecting people around the world, LI now offers a full job search engine that draws both on its own listings and those of the postings aggregator Simply Hired.

After taking LI Jobs for a spin and comparing its results to my prior findings on Indeed, here are my takeaways:

  • More advanced filtering features - just like with LI connection searches.
  • Easier to go from company contact research right to job postings.
  • Takes longer to load, since it searches LI and then Simply Hired, sequentially.
  • When using the company field, you need to put in the parent firm (e.g., Mattel), not the subsidiary (e.g., Fisher Price) - even when you only want results from the latter.
  • Found the same results as Indeed for major companies but missed many of the postings from smaller firms, ultimately generating 29 fewer points than my prior search.
Although the time change between my first search and this one may be a culprit in the listings discrepancy, I'll be sticking with Indeed for now!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Step 5.2: Sort - Gap B

OK, now for the trickier part: Tracking down connections at the firms I like but where I don't know anyone. I'm going to turn this post into a showdown between the two latest social question-answering services:
  • Aardvark - Type your question in and it scans your Facebook/Gmail connections (and most importantly, their connections - a la the power of weak ties!) to find someone with expertise in that area. Recently bought by Google for $50M!
  • Facebook Questions - Type your question in and it opens the query to the entire Facebook universe (or just specific) friends, if you prefer. Designed to take down Aardvark!
Let's see who delivers the goods - and how long it takes... To be continued.