I've long said that although all of the "Best Places to Work" lists are a great place to start a job search when you're looking for great work-life balance, but the more telling sign is "who's in heels at your bus stop." Who in your own network is making it to the bus stop and doing meaningful work. Where does she work? How did she get that job?
This theory was highlighted yesterday when talking to a friend with an active job search. She admittedly didn't do enough research in advance of taking her current job and didn't heed the subtle advice from folks in her network about the personality and management style of her current boss, and got herself in a rotten work environment. Actively networking and interviewing, she runs into her old pal, the UPS man, "Donnie."
Donnie asks where she's currently interviewing and offers a candid assessment of the work environment as only a quiet, efficient third-party onlooker to an organization can, and friend quickly heeds this advice.
Further, Donnie knows from his trusted position as daily UPS carrier that so-and-so is leaving at another firm. Donnie's worked with friend for years and know it'd be a great fit. Did friend mind that he shared her contact information with the hiring firm?
Uhm, no! Interview set up the same day, results pending.
But even if an offer doesn't emerge, the story here is great. Use your entire network when engaging in a job search. Be specific, and make sure everyone you know (from the preschool teacher to your former assistant) knows exactly what kind of job and organization you'd like. Use your "market intelligence," the inside scoop from the people you know and trust, to focus on organizations where there will be a strong fit. And most importantly, treat all of the people in your professional network with kindness and respect - from CEO to UPS guy- and it will come back tenfold.