Vendors could be your best career helpers

By Alan Earls

When felon Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he reportedly replied, "Because that's where the money is." That bit of folkloric wisdom is oft-quoted and has a corollary when it comes to getting storage jobs. The best jobs are not always the ones that are advertised. They are the ones that are about to be advertised or may never be advertised -- and learning about them is more art than science. So, go to those that know, right? But, how?

Fortunately, to find out about storage jobs, one can use the same kind of common sense displayed by Willie Sutton. Certainly there are the usual suspects -- letting friends, classmates, and professional associates know that you are interested in learning about new opportunities. Then there are the connections you may not have thought about.

How about your company's vendors or service providers? They may know not just you and your organization but others, as well. They may be able to tell you who really makes the hiring decisions at a company across town. They may have useful tips on when other companies will be expanding or adding staff to complete a particular project. And, they may know these things long before others.

Of course, like any such "confidential" relationship, one must be careful not to ask too much and not to share too much, either. But, certainly, most vendors will realize that telling tales to your boss would be bad form! And, they will feel flattered that you consider their knowledge of the industry worth exploring.

Another kind of storage "tea leaves" you should try reading are the press releases vendors and consultants often distribute that tout their major contracts with end user customers. Knowing that a company has just committed to a large purchase of storage gear is a strong indicator that they will be hiring. Press releases also can quote key individuals within the customer's organization -- individuals you can target directly with a follow-up letter or resume.

Additional resources:

For other career tips that have appeared on SearchStorage.com, see: http://www.searchstorage.com/searchStorage_Tips_Category_Page/0,1797,475,00.html

About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass


This was first published in September 2000

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