6 companies interested in you

Always keep six companies interested in you during your job search.


You’ll feel more confident, which will make you more successful in your search.  In addition, losing any one job opportunity won’t feel as bad if you have five alternatives still going.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen what happens when a professional puts all their eggs in one basket.

One of your fellow Members will get confident – too confident – about their prospects for success with one company. Hopes are raised. They take their eye off the ball. They start daydreaming about their new role. And, in the meantime, a few of their backup choices go away or end up hiring another candidate.

And then, when the final decision comes… someone else got the job.

It’s more than just a bummer, it’s a demoralizing momentum killer.

To make sure this does not happen to you, you should always keep your pipeline filled with six live opportunities. A live opportunity is an open job, for which there is already a budget or hiring requisition, that you are actively being considered for. Don’t count casual conversations, theoretical possibilities, or continued coffee catch-ups as live opportunities unless they meet this test – only real jobs with budget and interest.

The reason having six live opportunities is important is that it helps your search be more successful. Having a half-dozen companies interested in you at once makes you feel wanted. It makes you feel like a winner. 

And that confidence shines through. People hear it in your voice and see it in your smile.  Employers, recruiters, and hiring managers pick up on it.  They think you’re a big deal because you think you’re a big deal. 

Your interviews go great. Your emails get answered. Your phone calls get returned.

And, when it happens that one of the jobs doesn’t go your way, it’s just a bump in the road, not a disaster. Given the odds, you’re going to be runner-up on many jobs, so it’s important that losing out on any one job isn’t a show-stopping setback.

The problem, of course, is that the good confidence you develop from having six companies interested in youtoo often turns into over-confidence

And over-confidence leads to errors. You don’t pay attention to the companies further down your wishlist. You skip the phone call. You ditch the interview. And you don’t put in the time to reach out to the next company. 

Unfortunately, with job opportunities, situations change all the time.  They might hire someone else.  Budgets might get reallocated. They might decide that you’re too much or too little of something.

And the job you thought was in your grasp disappears.

And then so does the next one.

And if you don’t have a pipeline of live 

opportunities, you can find yourself without any 

company interested in you at all.

And that can be disastrous for your self-confidence. It hurts enough to lose out on a job you wanted. But it hurts even more when it leaves your job search empty. It negatively affects the confidence in your voice, your demeanor, and your interviews. It brings your momentum to a halt.

Now, I get it. The job search is hard and keeping up the pace is difficult. Nobody likes to face rejection. Nobody wants to hear ‘no’. Nobody enjoys finding out that they’re not going to be considered.

Putting yourself out there is tough.

But that’s exactly what you need to do to keep six companies interested in you at all times.

You need to call the seventh. Interview with the eighth. Return the email of the ninth. Ask for the intro to the tenth. 

Because that’s how you make sure you always have six live opportunities in your pipeline at all times. 

Here are some practical tips for stocking your pipeline this week:

Make a list of 10 companies that you want to work for. Connect with people who work there through the Ladders Expert network.

Reach out to 10 old friends or contacts you haven’t connected with during the pandemic. Schedule a catch-up over Zoom or coffee.

Use Apply4Me to save you time in applying to 10 jobs on Ladders.

Go back through your old job searches from the past five years. Reach out, out of the blue, to any of the recruiters or HR people you spoke with then. Ask them if they’re hiring for your new level now. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

However you find new leads, keep finding them until you have six live opportunities in your pipeline – six jobs for which there is already an opening or budget, and for which you’re being actively considered.

Do yourself this favor.  Keeping your job search strong, confident, and productive by always keeping six companies interested in you will pay off sooner than you realize.

And then we’ll be celebrating together when you land your next great role.