You may not know that the perfect company, which perfectly fits your values and passions, exists. You do not know of this company because they may not have been at the career fair or been on campus for recruiting. To find this company, you will need to do a little bit of research, starting with mastering the art of the Google search.
Above prestige and compensation, a genuine interest and passion in a company should take priority in your recruiting process. To search for companies that fit your objectives, start by writing out key words relating to your industry of choice and values you align with.
Examples - Industry:
Examples – Values
Next, combine these key words and your preferred geographic location of employment (optional) and search away! Feel free to rework your search multiple times. You may not find any company that interests you at all, however you may stumble upon a company that fits your niche preferences and that stimulates your curiosity. To reiterate:
Value + Industry + Location = Preferred Company
Example: Social Architecture Milwaukee = Newaukee (http://newaukee.com/)
In this process, it is important to know that working at a smaller and lesser known company can provide learning opportunities and career development just as valuable as a Fortune 500 Company.
With this in mind, consider reaching out to an employee or executive for an informational interview or even to inquire about a potential internship/employment opportunity. In your initial outreach, make sure to specifically state how the work the company does aligns with your interest and passions. Show that you put in the effort to seek out their company. Show that you want to help contribute to their success. Show that working with them will provide you with personal satisfaction. This can potentially lead to nothing (which is perfectly fine), acquiring an industry resource, an internship, or even a job! Taking an alternate route to employment and exploring smaller firms is an underutilized and often unstated form of career exploration to take advantage of. Why not try to see where this method can take you?