Over the weekend, somebody asked me if I'd lived in London before.
I said, "Well... I actually guess I only studied abroad here for a semester, and that was 7 years ago. But I know the city pretty well."
Right, she said. That's my point. How do you know all these people and companies you've been meeting with?
I paused. Reflected. Shrugged. "I guess that's just how I do things," I replied.
Then, this morning, I went on my own over-excited Twitter rant about how much Leeds (the city in Northern England where I did my Masters) is growing and changing.
And so, in reflecting on (1) my own Twitter rant and (2) reflecting on the fact that people are always asking me this question (which is always some version of "How do you know them/that?")...
I'm going to use today's email to backtrack and figure out how I do what I do.
How to find out who the 'players' are, where the cool companies are hiding, what people in that business community are talking about.
Basically: how to get a 'pulse' on a city.
This is the first time I've tried to pare this down myself, so let's see how we do.
Let's say you want to find a job in--oh, I don't know, let's say Chicago. You don't know anything about Chicago. Maybe you have friends there, but no one who can, like, hire you.
You don't even know what you want to do yet, exactly, but you want a more fun job than the one you just had.
Find yourself some connections. People who are well-connected, people who could maybe hire you, people who know which companies are cool and might be hiring for someone like you.
But who? Where to look?
You take to Twitter, because it's a good place to do research.
You know, because I'm telling you right now, that Twitter has an amazing search bar that lets you search for anyone who's talking about anything.
You search: "Chicago startups"
You know, because I'm telling you right now, that it doesn't even matter if you have a Twitter account or not so you can't use that as an excuse.
You don't even know if you want to work for a startup yet but you know that, because I'm telling you right now, the startup community is a very social and friendly place filled with people who are always looking for new talent.
You scroll down the page, looking for interesting Connectors. If you hover over a profile picture, it will give you some information about that account.
You find something that strikes your fancy.
Podcasts. You like podcasts. And this is a whole podcast about cool companies in Chicago! How great is that???????
You click Follow, if you have an account.
You decide to follow the host and the most recent guest, too, because they're both tagged and you don't want to accidentally close this window and forget about them.
You decide to explore this podcast, because it seems like a good lead.
You look at their website.
You know, because I'm telling you right now, that you've hit a mini-jackpot. It's so wonderfully convenient that they not only have the name of all these cool people right here on the front page... but also the names of the companies they're building! Right here in Chicago!
You take some time and listen through a couple episodes that look interesting.
You bookmark this website, so that you can research one or two of the guests whenever you have time this week.
You search 'Chicago startups' again, and repeat from Step 3.
I literally just did all of that on the spot, by the way.
I had no idea what I was going to find until I went through the process just now, for you, in order to write this email.
I've never even heard of this podcast.
But if you know them, you go tell them I say, "You're welcome."
PS: Wishing we could just go through all of this together? I've got some really good news. For the first time ever, I'm taking on five private mentoring clients who are ready to go through the job search with more strategy and less overwhelm... and with me by their side. Interested? I'll tell you more this weekend.