The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the job market, helping us witness a surge in remote work opportunities. The pandemic accelerated this trend, with many companies forced to transition to remote work to ensure business continuity.
- Hunting job seeking means actively searching for job opportunities yourself to hit your immediate career goals.
- Farming job seeking means building healthy networks and relationships that will come to you with job opportunities in the future.
- Invest in "farming" when you are NOT actively looking for a job because someday you will be.
As businesses have only benefitted from this change, remote work is becoming more of a permanent solution rather than a temporary one. This has led to significant changes in the job market, with an increased demand for remote workers across all industries.
Understanding the Two Job Seeking Strategies
Finding a remote job is ultimately a sales activity. You're selling yourself!!
As in any sales process, there are two methods:
1. Hunting Job Seeking
"Hunting" job seeking activities aim to target existing opportunities that do NOT require previous engagement.
Some hunting activities are:
- Applying to job openings.
- Sending cold DMs to CTOs and recruiters.
- Sending cold applications to companies' HR.
This hunting type of job seeking is good when you need a job and didn't nurture any farming activities before. That means hunting is more of a transactional strategy for your immediate job seeking goals.
Essentially, you can go for hunting job seeking if you:
- Have just graduated.
- Got laid off.
- Feel you're about to get laid off.
- Have any other reason that rushes you into finding a new job.
2. Farming Job Seeking
On the other hand, "Farming" job seeking activities aim to build network and reputation.
These activities don't optimize for getting a job immediately. Instead, they aim to build up momentum over time so that opportunities come to you. It’s a relationship-based strategy for your bigger, long-term career goals.
Some farming activities are:
- Creating relationships with recruiters.
- Writing in public.
- Contributing to open-source software.
- Speaking at events/meetups.
- Engaging with prospects (CTOs, recruiters, etc) at events, Twitter, etc.
You should always invest some time in these farming activities. Especially when you are not in a rush to find a job (otherwise, you'll be hunting!).
Farming will get you:
- Inbound opportunities (after a while).
- Higher negotiation power.
- Higher conversion when you do hunting.
In the early days of my career, I found most of my jobs through hunting activities. I didn't know better, and I've always been relentless with applications and interviews until I got the job.
However, I discovered that farming is way smarter, even if it doesn't produce immediate results.
Here are two examples:
- A few years ago, I started creating relationships with recruiters who work with startups to find CTOs. They'll email me every time they have a new role and ask if I'm interested because they are paid only when they get the right candidate. I decide if I want to interview.
- Since I write actively on Twitter, I get people messaging me with all sorts of opportunities. There's a lot of noise, and most things aren't so relevant. But the fact is that I got a few consulting clients and a couple of job offers through Twitter. I've been increasing my rates because of this.
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