Career Management


Phase 4, Step 13 - Define Your Target Market and Develop a Strategy

This step leads you to clearly define exactly what types of jobs are a good fit for you. In order to achieve your goals, you must have direction. Narrowing choices to one, two or three specific job fields will give you that direction. Having a well-defined target market will enable your brand and messaging to be clear and well received by others. This step is complete when you have a list of one to three job titles, one to three industries of choice and a list of 20 to 40 companies to research. Think about this step as an archery target with concentric circles. Your ideal target is the center – Bulls-eye. Plan B would be the next ring out, also acceptable. Plan C is your back-up plan.

 Deliverable for GSM5108: Write a summary analysis that clearly defines your target market of companies, industries and job titles.  Include the goals for obtaining Plan A – your ideal job.  Then, draft Plan B.  What will you pursue if Plan A doesn’t work out?  Also draft a Plan C (your back-up plan).  Create and include a list of 20-40 potential companies that you will target and start the LAMP process outlined in the book, “The 2-hour Job Search”.

 Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What are one, two or three job titles that fit my interests, strengths, education and experience?
  2. What industries show growth potential for these job titles? Which am I interested in pursuing?
  3. Are there clusters for this field? And if so, where are they?
  4. What geographic areas am I open to after graduation (or for the summer) and do these correlate with the clusters? If not, are my goals realistic and broad enough?
  5. Which companies provide the best training for someone pursuing this field? Which companies show growth potential? Which companies have a culture that is a good fit for me?
  6. Are there likely to be at least 50 job openings in my geographic area, for my chosen field? If not, should I consider a broader field or broader geographic area?
  7. What is the hiring timeline for this field? Do I have the right timing? If not, should I consider a broader field?

 Going Deeper:

  • Write your job titles, geographic area, industry and culture of choice.
  • Draft a list of 20 companies that fit your criteria and research them using

CareerBeam or other online tools.

Expand your list to at least 40 possible companies for plan B and plan C. Consider competitors of your original 20. Ask people in your network which companies should be on your radar. Review the Business Journal Book of Lists in each of your geographic areas. Research members of industry groups or associations. Add companies that are being talked about positively in the news. Look at where Willamette alumni are working, and the List of 100 companies developed by Career Management.