How to Find an Amazing Place to Work

5 min. read

Embarking on a search for an amazing place to work could be a decision that changes the course of your life.

Embarking on a search for an amazing place to work could be a decision that changes the course of your life. Finding a home, finding a place that resonates with you so much that it’s no longer just a job, no longer just a career, but a family. That’s something that deserves your best efforts. Wouldn’t you agree?

It’s not always easy. Some people have a hard enough time just getting employed, and that search can be a soul-crushing, sunrise-to-sunset, pride-swallowing, thief of one’s time and energy. So much so that they’ll eventually accept anything just to get the bills paid. But getting the bills paid is not to be scoffed at either.

There's the story of a teacher who was giving advice to a then-unemployed student. This student was balking at the idea of taking a menial job to pay the bills. It was “below him” and he had his integrity, so he wasn’t about to take some clock-puncher just to pay the rent. He was steadfast in pursuing his dreams, and wasn’t going to take any detours along the way.

The teacher nodded and smiled, and then responded with, “That’s admirable. But what you’re saying is that you’re above being employed?”

“No, that’s not what I meant!” replied the student. And then he chewed on this for a minute and finally got the point. “Ok, ok. I get it.”

“You get it?”

“Yea. Paper or plastic?”

The point of the lesson was that taking a job, even a temporary one, so that he could feel the boost in morale of receiving a paycheck and being able to take care of his financial obligations, was better than foolishly hanging on to his “integrity” despite not being able to buy groceries.

This story illustrates a point. That there are stops along the way. We don’t all get to shoot for the golden ring and hit it on the first try. Michael Jordan said, “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Persistence on a given course is a virtue that is overlooked and undervalued by the starry-eyed youth who haven’t yet tasted a slice of humble pie. That's not to make it sound like an insurmountable journey. But its good to be prepared for the fact that the road may be rocky at times, and just know that if you hit the jackpot on day one, then you’re one of the lucky ones. Be grateful. The rest of us have to fight for it.

So pack your bags and load up the 4x4, because if you’re heading off-road into the great unknown. You’re embarking on a journey of a lifetime. You’re shooting for the big time.

Here are some practical tips for getting hired at that dream job at an amazing workplace.

Name it

Identify what you want. Write it down. What kind of business is it? What kind of position is it? Get specific. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and say “Yes, can I have some food please?” No. You’d order exactly what you want, with all the fixings and the dressing on the side. So be specific as you like. “I want to work at a law firm in Chicago, who specializes in wrongful convictions. I want to start as a legal aide and move up to partner.”

What kind of neighborhood do you want to live in? What part of town is this business? Detail it all as far down as the fixtures in your bathroom if you want to. If you can see it, you can have it. Create a wonderful illusion for yourself, and then go out into the world and make it a reality.


Start by looking around and listing out the companies that approximate this wishlist of yours. By writing down this ideal workplace of yours, you’ve essentially crossed off a bunch of companies that don’t match, so you’ve narrowed down the search field before you even started. Once you’ve made a list of potential matches, then you can prioritize which ones you want to go after aggressively.

Research those companies thoroughly. Look at what other employees have to say about working there, and look at their history of employee retention. Look for a culture-fit. Look at the company ratings and their growth rate. Find out just how close of a match they are to your ideal situation. When you find that right match, the light will go off in your head.

You also might find that some of them disappoint you. Some of them might turn out to not fit your expectations. Don’t be discouraged. You’re just turning the focus and honing in on that one magic match.


Once you have a list of winners — start looking at positions currently available. Find a person in that company that you can communicate with. You’re not about to send a letter or an email addressed to “Big Amazing Company, ℅ Anyone who’ll listen.” No. Find the hiring manager, the HR manager. Get in touch personally. And start applying.