Step 3 - Target Market Research and Developing a Target List
As you may well recognize by now, the comparison to the job seeker’s role with that of the VP/Marketing virtually overlaps. Consider the following:
- Where do I want to work”?
- Do I stay in my present location or move to a new one”?
- Are there multiple markets that would be attractive or only one?”
- To which industries do my skills and experience translate well”?
- What types of companies meet the requirements of my Top 10 list”?
- Which companies have the environment that will be conducive to my success”?
Establishing the Geography
All of these questions necessitate answers before the search begins and each may require varying amounts of research to answer. Many job seekers fail to spend enough time on this aspect of the search that may negate future efforts. The geographic issue is easiest for most job seekers to answer unless they are looking at multiple geographies or if they are unsure of where certain industry types are clustered. If industry type is not critical and you are remaining in your current location then the answer is usually related to how far you want to commute.
Establishing the Target List of Companies
Note: I recommend that you purchase a map of the area surrounding your home or future home and draw a line encircling your home to the furthest point of commutable distance in each direction. For every person, this is both a personal decision as well as a logistical and financial one. I know there are people who will drive over an hour to work and enjoy it – I know others whose decision would differ here! If you are looking at multiple locations around the world, nation or region then follow the above process given that you know roughly where you will live in each location. A resource that may prove valuable is the US Postal Service website for zip code locations, http://www.usps.com/ncsc/.
The end product is a list of companies within your industry group(s) that are located in the geography(s) that you chose. This list may be quite lengthy – I recommend that you narrow down to an initial target list of 20-25 to keep things workable. If the list is much longer than that, trim it by using company size or other variables but keep the names of the companies you trim for back up purposes. If you are working with multiple geographies, you’ll want to have a similar list for each. Prioritize the list and work from the top down to keep yourself organized.
Stacey Hills, Chair, Associate Professor, The McCormick Division of Business