The Job Search as Treasure Hunt
As I approach the end of 5 months on the job search traiI, I find myself reflecting on some of what I have learned. While the search is not over yet, I have tried to manage my own anxieties of this process by comparing it to one big Treasure Hunt. There is an end goal (the treasure, of course), a map, and an untold number of clues and people you will encounter along the way. I have found that just about everyone I have encountered in my search has imparted an important clue in my personal treasure of finding the right job at the right company. For me, one of those people was Tom Walter, CEO of Tasty Catering. Tom and I serve on DePaul University’s Marketing Advisory Council and I had the pleasure of meeting him at his offices in Elk Grove. By the way, Tasty Catering was named one of the best places to work in Chicago by Crain’s. Like normal networking meetings I have had, I sent Tom my handbill in advance, seeking advice and ideas. After offering me coffee in his conference room, Tom’s first question to me was “Why are you looking to go back to big companies? You could offer smaller ones so much.” I had only been in a few meetings with Tom, and he didn’t know me that well, but he had the unique ability to see right through me and ask me a question that had I been thinking about for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have spent my entire career working for large, prominent companies. I am the well-rounded Marketing leader I am today because of the variety of people, experiences, and training I received. I wouldn’t trade that experience and time for anything. But Tom’s question really cut to the heart of the matter by getting me to think about what was more important – the prestige of working for a large company, or the potential for greater meaning by sharing what I have learned with a smaller company looking to grow. Tom gave me an important clue in my Treasure Hunt that day. He helped me broaden my view of what is possible and I am now better equipped to evaluate a different set of opportunities that may ultimately lead me to the end of this particular Treasure Hunt. This was one of many clues I have encountered so far and it has made the job search process a lot more interesting than I expected. Has anyone ever given you an important, unexpected clue in your Treasure Hunt?