149: Volunteerism and the Hidden Job Market with Mac Prichard


We all know that there are a ton of jobs listed online, but there is a hidden job market out there. As many as 80% of jobs don’t make it to those online job boards.

You’re probably asking, “Where do you find this hidden job market and how do you get yourself out there?”

Our guest, Mac Prichard, publisher of Mac’s list (Oregon’s go-to website for finding great job opportunities in Portland) and host of the podcast, “Find Your Dream Job,” shares three of the best ways to get your foot in the door to the hidden job market:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Networking
  3. Informational interviews

Mac shares how you can be strategic and tactful in your approach in professional volunteering. The great thing about volunteering is that the ball is in your court. You can pick and choose which organizations align with your field and what direction you want to take your career. You have the ability to bring your skills to showcase to any organization that you want to work with.

Side projects and volunteering are good ways to act on your interests and connect with others as you get to experiment with things you like and things that you don’t necessarily get to do at your day job.

It gives you a chance to show others what you can do. It gives you an opportunity to connect with leaders and influencers in your field and you should always, when volunteering, give your time and energy with the expectation of receiving nothing in return.

Mac Prichard

If you’re struggling to think of things you can do as a volunteer for an organization, just know they don’t have to be so over-the-top, they can be as simple as helping with an upcoming event or any short-term project.

Short-term projects are great as they allow you to show people what you’re capable of, it will give you satisfaction of having a result of your work right away, and (if you happen to lose interest in the organization) short-term projects provide you with a built-in exit strategy.

Mac also offers another tactic that will improve your career search with his free online video course, How to Wow and Woo Employers. If you’ve been struggling with your online job search, check out this video course. You’ll gain the knowledge you need to leverage your online presence to impress potential employers.

How to Wow and Woo Employers will help you optimize your social media accounts to increase your likelihood of landing the career you’ve always wanted. Go check it out!

Sign-up for the free course here!


Mac Prichard is a public relations strategist, publisher of Mac’s list (Oregon’s go-to website for finding great job opportunities in Portland), host of the podcast: “Find Your Dream Job,” and the owner of Prichard Communications.

Mac strives to drive social change and his team at Prichard Communications works to serve nonprofit and social good organizations around the country. Before launching Mac’s List as its own company, the list was just a side project for the Prichard Communications team. Mac’s List is now the premier resource for connecting passionate, creative professionals to meaningful and creative work throughout Oregon and SW Washington, with a growing monthly outreach to more than 80,000 people.

Throughout the years Mac and his team’s mission has always remained the same: to help people throughout Oregon find rewarding, interesting jobs that pay decent salaries and to help employers find the best possible candidates for those jobs.

Whether you are looking for your first job, a better job or just want to manage the direction of your career, Mac’s List offers the resources you need to make it happen. You can find many of the informational products Mac’s List offers, including their blogbook, and podcast, provide actionable tips that will help job-seekers wherever they live.


Check out Mac’s free online video course: How to Wow and Woo Employers

Check out Mac’s List!

Listen to Mac’s podcast: Find Your Dream Job

Follow Mac on Twitter: @Mac_Prichard

Check out Mac’s List on Facebook!

Connect with Mac on Linkedin


Email:  Scott@happentoyourcareer.com

Twitter: @htycbiz and @scottabarlow 

Follow us on Facebook

Come join us over on Facebook in our Work You Love OneStop group!


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Are you at a point in your career where you find yourself asking, “Okay, now what?” Click on the link below to check out our FREE 8-day course to “Figure Out What you Really Want for Your Career!”

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Scott Anthony Barlow 00:00

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast episode 149 "Volunteerism and the Hidden Job Market."

Mac Prichard 00:09

I have been fortunate, it's got to have a lot of great jobs. So it's not all as glamorous as it might sound, but during all these jobs, their common denominator that's run through them is, I've always looked for opportunities that help me act on issues I care about or make a difference in the community where I'm living, and working or ideally both.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:31

Hey HTYCers, if you've been struggling to figure out work that fits you, then join our 8-day free mini course. All you have to do is text HTYC to 38470. That's HTYC to 38470 or simply visit figureitout.co. That's figureitout.co. See you there.

Introduction 01:02

This is Happen To Your Career. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what does and then make it happen. Whether you're looking to do your own thing or find your dream job, you've come to the right place. I'm Scott Barlow.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:21

Hey, this is Scott Anthony Barlow, and you are listening to Happen To Your Career. Now this is the show that helps you figure out what work fits you by exploring other stories. And we get to bring on experts like Cliff Ravenscraft, who helps people spread their personal brand message through podcasting, or people that have amazing stories just like our personal career coach, Lisa Lewis, and who's followed her ideal job by following the breadcrumbs of her career and that led her to a life of career coaching. Now, these are people that are just like you– who have gone from where they are to what they really want to be doing. And they're people that are just like our next guest too, Mac Prichard. Now in this episode, you're going to get to hear how you can leverage side projects and volunteering to be able to act on your interests and connect with others while you get to experiment with, well, things that you think you might like, and don't get to do in your day job. And then also how you can use short term projects to allow you to show people what you're capable of and give you that opportunity to connect with people in the companies that you're interested in. And you know what, if you decide that you're not interested in this thing, since it's a short term project, you've got an easy exit. And even how you can initiate an opportunity to volunteer in the first place. So all that and plenty more. I want to introduce you to our guest, but I've got to tell you a little bit about him first. Mac Prichard is a public relations specialist. He's the publisher of Mac's list, which is Oregon's go to job site for finding great opportunities in the Portland area. And now much beyond that, he's also the host of the podcast, "Find Your Dream Job", which I was on not that long ago. He's the owner of Prichard communications. Mac does some pretty amazing things over there. He works to be able to serve nonprofit and social good organizations from around the entire country with Prichard communications, but Mac's just started it as a side project for him. And you'll get to hear all about that plenty more. Without further ado, here is my conversation with Mac Prichard.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:40

Hey, I'm so excited to have you back to Happen To Your Career. I have a phenomenal guest for you today. And this is going to be a really, really fun conversation. It's somebody who I've gotten to know a little bit over the last about 2, 3, 4 or 5-ish months or so. And I'm really excited to have him on the show. Welcome to Happen To Your Career. Mac, how are you doing?

Mac Prichard 04:03

Very well, Scott. Thanks for having me on the show. It's an honor.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:06

I meant everything I just said. I'm excited to have you here. I'm excited to chat about you dive into your story. And also, we've got a few fun things that we've planned talking about the hidden job market, really diving into how people can tap into that, and then even some strategic ways around volunteering. So all that, plenty more. But you've done a whole bunch of things in your career. And I'm really curious how you tell people or answer the question of, "what on earth do you do these days?"

Mac Prichard 04:46

Well, the short answer, Scott, is I run two small businesses. I'm based in Portland, Oregon. One of the firm's is Prichard Communications. It's a public relations company that works with nonprofits, foundations, and perpetrators brands and we specialize in social change communications. We help our clients relaunch websites, build communications programs, manage media and government relations and teach them the skills as well, so they don't have to keep hiring us. And we serve clients, not only in the Pacific Northwest, but across the United States. My second company is Macslist.org. And it's an online community for people looking for rewarding creative work. There's a job board there with about 400 listings a month. But as you know, most jobs are never advertised. We also provide valuable content through a blog, a podcast and a book and other services to help people learn the nuts and bolts of job hunting and career management. Because again, as you know, Scott, we're not taught how to do those things in high school or college, we learn them, largely, by trial and error.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:55

Yes. I hope between you and I, we can change some of the things that people know about job search, job hunting careers, and I would love to, long term, be able to see that in high school, colleges, etc. But okay, so that's what you do now, and if that's the short answer, then I'm curious what the long answer is now. The thing I'm even more curious about, though, for you Mac is, how on earth did that happen? How on earth did that happen? Because you've gone through and you've been in a number of areas of the US, you have a couple different types of education. But I'm curious, where does this start for you? Where did you get into social change and communications? And how did that happen for you?

Mac Prichard 06:56

I have been fortunate, Scott, to have a lot of great jobs. And I've had my periods of unemployment, too, and I'm happy to talk about them. And the lessons I've learned from those experiences. So it's not all as glamorous as it might sound. But yeah, during all these jobs, their common denominator that's run through them is I've always looked for opportunities that helped me act on issues I care about, or make a difference in the community where I'm living, and working, or ideally both. So the, you know, just the thumbnail sketch of my career, I'm actually in my late 50s. And I grew up in the Midwest, in Eastern Iowa. And when I was in college at the University of Iowa, where there were three things that interested me– writing, political campaigns, and human rights activism. And I've been fortunate in the decades that have followed that be able to work in all three of those areas. Both on the East Coast, I lived in Washington, DC for several years, and then in Boston for nine, and then I've been, actually, 25 years ago this summer, my wife and I moved out to Oregon and this has been our home ever since.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:12

25 years ago this summer. Is that what I heard you say?

Mac Prichard 08:15

Yeah, it was actually in July. We packed up the car and drove from Massachusetts to Oregon. It was a great trip.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:22

Wow. That is fantastic. And you and I get to meet and have lunch down in downtown Portland. And I absolutely love that area. Do you plan on staying there then for, I don't know, shall we say the rest of time? Or what are the current plans?

Mac Prichard 08:41

Yeah, our roots are here now. And this is home. And we may, as the years go by, visit other places for longer periods. But I think, all roads eventually lead back to the Pacific Northwest in Portland.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:58

Why is that for you in this particular case? Nothing to do with careers. But I'm curious, because you've been in quite a few other different areas in the US. So why does this one do it for you?

Mac Prichard 09:10

Well, our friends are here and were part of the community and as I mentioned, I did grow up in the Midwest, and I lived on the East Coast for 11 years. And when we came out here, my wife and I were in our early 30s, so we're still at a stage of life where we could imagine just moving across the country and packing up the car. But when we got here, and we liked it very much, we realized what we'd left behind in Boston for almost a decade. We had friendships and personal and professional relationships. And we were part of a community there. And as we get older, I think it's harder and harder to leave that behind. And you also, I think, you value it and appreciate it a lot more than you might when you're in high school or college.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:58

Yeah, I think that's absolutely true. And I'm curious then, you know, as you made the change, where along the way did Mac's List happen for you? How did that come about? And you know, if I understand it correctly, that was years after you guys left Boston, and made the move to Oregon. But how did that actually happen?

Mac Prichard 10:25

Well, my career has largely been in politics and government. And 15 years ago, I took a job here in Portland, and we'd always lived in Portland, but I'd commuted to the state capitol, Scott, for seven years. I've been a speechwriter to the governor. I'd been a spokesman for several different state agencies. And I wanted to... I didn't know if I would go back to Salem, it's an hour commute each way. And while I love my work, and the commute was killing me. But I wanted to stay in touch with my colleagues down there so I started a simple list. And we all get job postings. Everybody gets an email every now and then that says, "Hey, I'm looking for somebody to work with me. Send good candidates my way." What I did though was I set up a list with my professional contacts in the Capitol and started forwarding those emails. And as the years went by, I heard from people I didn't know who asked me to send their postings to people on my list. And I heard from people I didn't know who had to join the list. And it grew very slowly. So it was 15 years ago that we started Mac's List and it took us nine years to get to about 1000 names. But then we turned it into a newsletter that went out every Tuesday at 2pm, and that still happens. And within months, we were at 4000 subscribers and customers. Easy to get, you knew what you were getting, and it became so much work, and I was doing all this as a service, and to network with others too, but it became so much work. We monetize the list. We set up a website six years ago and started charging for job listings. And employers started paying almost immediately, but the community grew all by word of mouth. And today, we have about 80,000 people who come to macslist.org every month through our newsletter or website visitors and social channels.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:32

That's amazing. So I'm curious then, what went through your mind, maybe is even a better question, as this thing was growing and is starting to take on a lot of extra work? And clearly, this is not your main business at the time, even remotely close, it's not even necessarily a side business at that point. So it sounds like a side project, if you will. And you've got this entirely separate business to run of communications agency so, why did you keep it going?

Mac Prichard 13:08

Well, I've always had side projects. I've always had side projects. I've always been involved in the community, serving on boards, and volunteering for committees. And for years, I read my neighborhood block party at 14 years in a row actually. But to me, the list was just another form of service. When I was doing it on my own, I didn't pay that much attention to the time involved. But when it did get to... by the time we had the weekly newsletter, I was paying somebody about eight hours a week, and that's why we had to monetize it. And I, actually Scott, didn't know if employers would pay for the listings and we had people start buying them right away. And when we asked them why, employers told us that they were saving time, and they were saving money, because they were getting fewer applications from a Mac's List posting, but they were the right applications. And with the big national boards, which are great, you're reaching people in all 50 states and most employers don't have the resources to bring a candidate in from out of state for an interview. And so I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from applying for jobs out of state but the odds are, you know, are stacked against you getting an interview or trip out on the employer's dime. So because they got fewer applications and they were the right applications, employers had fewer resumes to sort through and it made their hiring process a lot easier and it made sense to them to purchase listings with us.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:59

That is phenomenal. And then... because I've been in that position with a number of different companies, I can completely appreciate that. It is costly to bring somebody in from elsewhere, you're paying for plane tickets, you're paying for hotels, or you have to say, "Hey, can you come and interview? I know you're 3000 miles away, but you're gonna have to put on your own belt", which doesn't go over well, either. So I can absolutely appreciate getting the right targeted candidates. That is very, very cool. So what are some of the side projects that you've had that maybe didn't turn into entirely different companies? I'm curious now.

Mac Prichard 15:40

Well, I have always worked on election campaigns, you know, through the 90s and the odds. So I was on the Oregon finance committee for four Democratic presidential candidates. In the '04 and '08 cycles, I was the chair of the Finance Committee for the state party. I served on my Neighborhood Association Board, I've been on different nonprofit boards in Oregon and in Massachusetts, where I lived in the 1980s, and have also been on citizen advisory committees for the City of Portland. And what I loved about those opportunities was they gave me a chance to work on things that I cared about that maybe they weren't part of my day job. Yeah, whether it was politics, or many of the boards and committees were about transportation and urban planning, which is something I geek out about. And it was... so it not only allowed me to address my interest, but also be of service to the community. And candidly, professionally, it's very valuable to do that kind of service, because it allows you to meet people in new fields or fields that you want to be involved in and show what you can do. And those kinds of relationships can be invaluable when you're either looking for your next job, or you're thinking about your career.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:10

So let's talk about that for a little bit. Because what I just heard you describe is something that a lot of people could take a look at, and initially think, "Well, why would I want to spend my time doing that?" And what I heard you say is, "Hey, you know, a lot of these were fitting multiple areas. They were interests of yours. They, in some cases, were volunteer projects, but also things that, sort of, ring your bell, if you will, and then connected you to different people at the same time that you may not have otherwise had in terms of connections." But it sounded like there were a lot of different things that were benefits rolled up into one. So I'm curious if you could talk about that. Was that truly the case in all those situations where there were some kinds of multiple benefits? Or were there cases where with some of those side projects, if you will, that there are other reasons?

Mac Prichard 18:12

Well, I think when you volunteer, you should volunteer about things you get excited about and are passionate about. And that really depends on you, where your interests lie. But it gives you a chance to do things that, again, maybe you don't have the opportunity to do in your day job. And life doesn't end when you go home at five o'clock, there are lots of chances to act on your interest and connect with others. And it's not only the interest and the service that matters, I think it's the relationships with people that you get through volunteering, whether it's a board or committee or an association or a campaign, and the relationships can endure for decades. There are many people I know professionally that I've met on political campaigns or nonprofit boards 10, 15, 20 years ago, and if they were at the start of their career, it's remarkable how many of them have moved on to very senior positions. And that's not why I volunteered. I volunteered because I cared about improving traffic safety on the boulevard near my home. But I enjoyed the companionship and the connection with others who share that interest. And I cared about electing a candidate. And people who get involved are usually very capable, have other interests and many of them go on to great things and that can be valuable to you.

Maggie 19:46

I was complacent about my job we're getting by, we're doing fine.

Scott Anthony Barlow 19:53

This is Maggie.

Maggie 19:54

Ended up finding the right thing at the right place at the right time. And it was you guys, and then it was like, you know, finding work you love. And I was like, "Okay, that's me too." And it was like tapping into a friend of mine who had expertise in the area. I always felt like I was a faucet that maybe the faucet hadn't been unstuck, like, it was rusted shut. It happened to her like the WD-40 of my career path, right? Like you kind of unstuck my potential.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:16

So what kind of help did she find?

Maggie 20:18

Helped me discover for myself what I was passionate about. And then it helped me kind of shape the direction I wanted to head. There are like three things in my life that I have felt absolutely positive, that this was no question the right thing to do, and that was– marrying my husband, having my children, and working with Happen To Your Career. Because I've been able to discover for myself, like, what is it that drives me, and now I'm doing it and it's awesome.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:42

She also learned what was most important.

Maggie 20:45

The time that I spend away from my family matters. And that is important to me. Once I worked with Happen To Your Career, I got this position. I started out just working on our onboarding and that were part of a vital part of our salesforce. I've never felt more confident in something that I was doing than I do in this role.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:02

If you want to figure out what's most important to you, and get started in making that a part of your career, here's what you can do, just text HAPPEN to 44222 or you can visit figureitout.co. That's figureitout.co. We'll see you there.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:24

So let's talk about... let's say that somebody is interested in volunteering. How should they think about that? One of the things I already heard you say is that, "Look, don't volunteer unless it's something that you can get excited about." What else? What else should people know if they are interested in volunteering, and maybe even... I hesitate to call it a tactic because I don't think you should volunteer purely as a tactic, just my personal beliefs, I think that goes against a lot of things that volunteering even implies or insights or even some of the right reasons. But, you know, thinking about it strategically, how can they be more strategic about volunteering? And what else should they consider? Especially as it relates to their career.

Mac Prichard 22:09

That's a great question. Because I think sometimes people, particularly who are right employed, and are in the middle of a job search, they volunteer in the hopes that perhaps, its nonprofit organization will offer them a job. And it happens, but that's not why you should volunteer. I think it's something, again, that it should be something you're interested in and excited about, and it should be because you want to be of service, and because you enjoy the company of people who share your interests. So for professionals, you always should think about getting involved in the association in your industry. And that might mean attending events or lunches or other programs. And it's good, and you should do that. But if you want to take it up to another level, you should think about getting involved in the organization as a volunteer and you don't have to join the board or become an officer. It could be as simple as offering to stamp the registration table at the annual conference. Or maybe you take responsibility for organizing a panel discussion at the luncheon program or one of the breakout sessions at the regional conference. I'm a big believer in short term projects, things that have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Because it allows you to show others quickly what you're capable of, and it gives you satisfaction too, because you can see the results of your work right away. And candidly, if it's not a good fit to volunteer with that organization, it gives you an exit strategy too, it's built in. So the value to you professionally when you're job hunting or you're thinking about your career, volunteering is this, it gives you a chance to show others what you can do. It gives you an opportunity to connect with the leaders and the influencers in your field. And you should always, as when volunteering, give your time and energy with the expectation of receiving nothing in return. And if you start with that mindset, you will be amazed at what you get back in return when you do so without expecting anything.

Scott Anthony Barlow 24:33

That's fantastic. I particularly like what you're talking about in terms of, ideally, short term projects– things that have a beginning, and a middle, and an end– are really really good for all the reasons that you just stated, but I really like that it gives you that sort of up and front tangible benefit, plus gives them the up and front tangible benefit, and you can give it understanding or exit strategy. If it's not a good fit for you, versus, you know, being roped into a perpetual never ending project and you find out that is not a good fit. So I absolutely love that. Here's my question for you, though. We have... and I get questions on a regular basis about volunteering, and some of them are along the lines of, "How do I actually initiate that?" You know, let's say that I'm interested in volunteering with an organization and I've got two or three different organizations that I might be considering, that I'm passionate about either what they produce or their cause, or whatever else it might be. How do I initiate that conversation?

Mac Prichard 25:41

Well, I think you shop around. So if there are three professional associations in your field, go to their events. For example, I happen to be in Portland, Oregon, and I run a public relations company. There are four different professional associations in my field: the Portland Advertising Federation, the Public Relations Society of America, the International Association of Business Communicators, and the American Marketing Association, all four of those national groups have chapters here. And I've been to all of their events. I've enjoyed them all. They're all good organizations, but the one that has the programs and the people that are closest to my field happens to be the Public Relations Society of America. But it could have been some of the other chapters, depending on the leadership and the programs that were being offered at that time. So to your listeners, I would say, you know, again, look at the groups that are active in your field if you want to focus on professional volunteer opportunities, and go to their events and see where you feel most comfortable and where the activities and the leaders are most relevant. And then volunteer for a short term project, like, setting up a launching program. And you'll get a sense of the organization and its culture very quickly. And you can decide whether you want to get involved in that in a more serious way. The reason volunteering can help you with your job hunt and your career, Scott, and we haven't talked about it, but I have run a job board, and I'm very proud of it. But as you know, and I think many of your listeners do, most jobs are never advertised. They're filled by word of mouth. And there are estimates out there that, as many as 80% of all jobs, never make it into a newspaper ad or a job board or any kind of public announcement. So our challenge when we're out there, beating the bushes looking for our next opportunity or thinking about how we want to manage our career is this, "What do we do after we've spent 15 or 20 or 30 minutes looking at the new postings on the job boards that we follow?" Most people don't know what to do next, and they don't know how to find those jobs in the hidden job market. There are three ways to do it. One is volunteering. Another is networking. And the third is informational interviews. And I know we're talking today about volunteering. But when you volunteer, and you connect with the leaders and the influencers in your field, and you build relationships with them, that's going to help you find out about the jobs that are never advertised. Because people, employers hire people they know where people who are recommended to them by people to trust. And it can be the weakest of connections. It could be, you know, you had a pleasant conversation at a lunch at an association or you had an informational interview and you made a good impression sharing your story, and someone thinks of you when a colleague says "Hey, I'm looking for somebody to fill this management job. Do you know any good people?" And they'll say, "Oh, Scott came by my office. He seemed like he was on the board, but you should talk to him." And volunteering helps you get into that pool of people that are thought of for hidden jobs, and so that your name is on their mind. And even if there's a formal application process that's advertised through a job board, they're going to pull your resume out of the pile, because they'll say, "Oh, I remember Scott. He and I were on this committee together. He's sharp. We should bring him in with some others for an interview."

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:27

And here's an example of that, too, because I love what you're talking about. For the wide world of Human Resources, there's one, well, there's a couple, but one main governing agency, not governing agency, but Association. And that's the Society of Human Resource professionals, and human resource management. It's called SHRM. And I used to live in tri-cities, Washington for a period of time, and there was a local SHRM chapter there, and I did exactly what you're talking about, Mac, where I went and volunteered, and specifically, I started volunteering on a short term project. It was putting together this bowling party, it's actually what it was, putting together a bowling party as a fundraiser for a local charity there that the chapter participated in. And by doing that, I ended up not necessarily getting to know or not necessarily putting myself in a position to get hired by the local chapter, because they didn't hire anybody for pay. But I got to meet all different kinds of HR executives throughout all the surrounding cities, because they all came and they were all involved in this. And, you know, I was one of the main people that was organizing the event. So that ended up later leading to all of those types of conversations that you were just mentioning, and said, "Hey, you know, I just met this guy, Scott Barlow, and he seems like an okay guy. Why don't you talk to him?" And then I ended up getting multiple job offers through that, which were just little tiny touch points. So I would, I really, truly believe that what you're talking about after seeing it firsthand and seeing it, second and third hand in a lot of cases too, that it works. But I think you have to go back to what you mentioned at the beginning, you shouldn't do that stuff just as purely a tactic, you have to be excited about it in the first place. So here's a different question for you, though, with some of those hidden jobs that you're talking about, what is a... and I know, you know, we delve into volunteering and everything like that, but what is an informational interview look like from your perspective? Because we've touched on it a little bit, I want to make sure that everybody understands what that is.

Mac Prichard 31:54

Sure. A good informational interview can usually runs 20 to 30 minutes. You can have one of these conversations in 20 minutes, Scott. And the purpose, you really have three goals when you seek someone out for an informational interview. And first, you want to introduce yourself and share your goals and share your story. The second thing is you want to walk into the meeting with some specific ask– a request. And it could be that you're trying to identify opportunities in your field and you want to know which companies or nonprofits might be growing or might be adding staff or maybe there are some objections that you have in your head that you think people will have about your candidacy, you're about to change sectors, you want to move from the nonprofit to the corporate world. And perhaps you have sought this person out because they made that switch and you're looking for advice. Well, how did you do this? What barriers or challenges that you have to overcome? What made your candidacy compelling? And asking specific questions will give you insights into both the market and how to promote your candidacy. And getting a sort of the lay of the land of your field who might be hiring, who's gotten a new grant, or launched a new business line, it might have new revenue, and that might need staffing, helps you identify where the opportunities are. So that's the second thing you want to do in an informational interview– come in with specific asks or requests. The third thing you want to do after you've told your story and shared your goals and made those specific tasks, is ask for recommendations about other people you can connect with in your field. Now maybe you're trying to get into a particular company or public agency and you look at the LinkedIn profile of the person you're meeting, and you see that she is connected to the CEO or the agency director. It's appropriate to ask, "Could you introduce me to, you know, John Smith? Or could I use your name when I reach out and ask for an appointment?" If you do those three things, when you leave the meeting, that is a successful meeting. Obviously, you don't ask for a job. It's about intelligence gathering, introducing yourself and growing your network. Those are the yardsticks of success. And if you do those things, you'll be amazed at the results. You get bonus points if you do two other things in a meeting, like this, Scott. One is, if you close the meeting by asking how you can be of help to them. And that's a very powerful thing to do because it's reinforcing the fact that you have a lot to offer. And believe me, people will do informational interviews to take these meetings, you'll hear that very often so you'll stand out. And the other thing that you can get bonus points for doing is after you land wherever it is you're going, it might be a month later, 3, 6, or 9 months, send that person a card. And obviously, you've already sent them a thank you note within, you know, a day or two of the meeting. But send them a card and say, "Hey, thanks again for your help. I want to stay in touch. Here's my new business card." If you do that, you're gonna make these folks a permanent part of your network. And, you know, obviously, you should also be doing informational interviews, or seeing people yourself and giving back. It's not just a one way street. But, you know, in my experience, Scott, when I came out to Oregon, I fell in love with the idea of moving here in the fall of 1990. There was one big problem, I've never actually been here. I'm sitting in Cambridge, Massachusetts. So eight months later, I had a job at City Hall as communications director for a mayoral candidate and a city councilor. It was a great job, and it was exactly what I wanted, it matched my goals. And I got that job from 2300 miles away. And this is pre-internet. So I did it by phone and snail mail, and I did make a couple trips out here. But I found that job by having dozens, actually, more than 100 conversations, just like I described. And I tell people, then they said, "What? A 100 meetings in eight months? Are you crazy? I could never do that." And here's the deal. Most people during eight months might send out 100 applications, if they’re no long term unemployed, or they're just looking hard. And if they're lucky, maybe they'll hear back from 2% of them, you know, maybe they'll get four or five interviews, and maybe they'll get a job offer. But they never hear back from the 95 organizations that they apply to that didn't offer them in interview. I connected with more than 100 people, I still see those 100 people here in Portland years later, they're part of my community. And we first met when I asked them for help and since then I've had the great opportunity to help many of them. And it's been definitely a two way street. And I'm grateful to have that opportunity. But what is going to be more valuable to you? Because the probably amount of time in setting up those meetings versus sending out those applications is about the same. So would you rather walk away with 100 face to face connections? Or, you know, 100 emails that went off into, and you heard back from maybe 5 or 10?

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:33

Well, I don't think I can answer any other way. But one on that back, you know, what's interesting though, is we went through and we figured out a rough amount of time associated with all the different ways that you can go and get a job. And hands down, the approach that you're talking about when you look at results obtained for the least amount of effort, even though it sounds like a lot of time and everything like that to be able to make contact with 100 people, it is so much more of a higher impact, even just for that job search, let alone your point of, "Hey, that can be valuable for years to come." So I like the way you think, Mac. I like the way you roll. That's fantastic. Now here's what's also interesting to me is the couple of things that you just talked about, it seems like it could be absolutely workable together, they could build on each other, you go and volunteer, you meet some of these people that gives you the initial, you know, reason for contact, initial relationship, and then it's probably a lot easier to be able to ask for and get an informational type interview to be able to link a few of these things together.

Mac Prichard 38:51

It is. And we haven't talked about this. But clearly you have to have a strategy. You just don't call people up. And I'm not suggesting your listeners would willy-nilly. But you're contacting people because you have a goal. You decided you wanted a certain position in a certain kind of industry. And you're reaching out to these people because they work in that field or they know people who do or they have some particular insight. And once you're clear about your goal, building lists of contacts that people you can reach out to is it takes work. But my experience has been, if you have a very clear focused task, you send an email saying, "You know, I want to meet with you to talk about this. I don't need more than 20 to 15 to 30 minutes of your time." And it always helps if you can say, "So and so sent me or just recommended I contact you." My experience has been, people say yes. They will make the time to see you and they take the meeting knowing that you're going to walk in and tell your story, you're going to ask for advice, and you're going to ask for contacts. They're prepared for that. And I'm always surprised when people don't do those things. Because I fully expect to be asked, and I'm standing ready with my database, but many people don't. And I think they don't, because, you know, I learned how to do this by trial and error. But you don't have to do that anymore. There are lots of good books and resources out there. And obviously, we write a lot about the hidden job market course coming up November 1st. But there's lots of content on our blog and book and I know you've got content about this, too. So the bottom line is, job hunting is a skill and you can master it just like you can get good at French or the violin or soccer.

Scott Anthony Barlow 40:52

Mac, this is absolutely fantastic. And I really appreciate you taking the time and making the time and coming on the show. And I actually making the time for us to chat because this is probably our 5th, 3rd, maybe 5th or 6th conversation or so. And as I've gotten to know you, I've just been really, really impressed with you, your company, your team. And so thank you. Thank you very much.

Mac Prichard 41:21

Well, thanks, Scott. And I do have to give a shout out to the Mac's list team. Ben Forstag is our managing director and Jenna Forstrom is our community manager and Anneka Winters helps us with finances, and three of us are on a weekly podcast that I encourage your listeners to check out. It's called "Find Your Dream Job" and we publish it there, Jenna, Ben and I every Wednesday morning.

Scott Anthony Barlow 41:41

Absolutely. Go check it out. I've listened to probably five or six or seven different episodes. It's wonderful stuff. I love how tactical you deliver very actionable content every single time. If you listen to it, I guarantee you'll come away with some things that you can do tomorrow. So yeah. Hey, thank you again. Is there any, well, actually two other questions for you before I let you leave here, Mac. Question number one is, is there anything else that you'd like to share? I know you mentioned you have an upcoming course in November. Anything else that you're excited about that you want to leave on parting advice even? And then the last question is going to be, where can people find out more about you?

Mac Prichard 42:31

We do have the course that you mentioned, Scott. It's called "Hack the Hidden Job Market" it launches on November 1st. If you go to our website, macslist.org/course you can sign up to get updates about the course as well as some free content. We've got a three part free course that's launching in September. And please visit our website. There's a blog there, the pod links to all our podcast episodes. And next year, we're bringing out a national edition of our book called, "Land Your Dream Job." We have a Portland edition of it now which is filled with local advice about looking for work in Portland, Oregon. And we're revising that and bringing out a national edition that will be helpful to people in all 50 states.

Scott Anthony Barlow 43:23

Well, I'm excited to see the national edition. Hey, thank you so very much. I absolutely appreciate it. And it's been an honor to have you on the show.

Mac Prichard 43:33

Thank you, Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 43:43

Hey, if you enjoyed that episode, then I think you'll enjoy this even more. Mac and his team over at Mac's List, they've put together this really pretty cool free course. And it's called "How to woo and wow employers online." I think you'll absolutely love this. It's a short free video course on how to use social media to find and get your dream job. So we've made this super easy for you. All you have to do is head on over to happentoyourcareer.com/149. That's happentoyourcareer.com/149. And then you'll find right on there, on that page, in the blog post. Head on over there right now.

Scott Anthony Barlow 44:35

Hey, we've got so much more coming for you next week on Happen To Your Career. I want you to take a listen. Because next week we dive deep into strengths. Now, we've covered strengths a lot on this podcast, right? If you go back and you look at other episodes and listen to other episodes, I guess you're probably not gonna look too much, but hey, look at it for a second and then take a listen, you're gonna hear a whole bunch more, but we have gone way overboard and we've established this massive resource, and we've done a podcast on it as well. So we'll tell you all about that and more for how to really use your strengths to actually get you hired. Because I think at the end of the day, we all want to get hired for, we all want to be able to do work that allows us to be actually authentically us and do the things that we are great at and add value to the world, and the way we add value to the world. So take a listen to what's coming up next week on Happen To Your Career.

Scott Anthony Barlow 45:42

Yeah, I think you've got to look at the patterns of things that you've written down and think about how they fit together, then you get to think about the jobs and opportunities you're entertaining as possible career choices. So what happens after that is you end up holding these opportunities up next to your findings, and then it starts to get very clear the ones that should match the type of lifestyle, career that you want to have. And you know, if one doesn't match the one that you'll want your life to be like, get rid of it. No big deal. Congrats, you just saved yourself countless hours and headaches and frustration. This is the time to weed out those opportunities that don't match your criteria.

Scott Anthony Barlow 46:17

Hey, I can't wait to see you next week here at Happen To Your Career. We'll have another amazing episode for you. And I also want to ask for you to take about 30 seconds and help us change the entire world. Because when we can get more people to listen to this show, we can help more people get to work that they absolutely love and authentically fits them. And then guess what? Well, once we get a lot of those people moving in the right direction, then companies start to change what their expectations are of work too, and start making it so much more human centered. Now, an easy way to do that, a really easy way to do that, is head on over to iTunes or Stitcher and leave us a rating and review. Seriously. Because that helps other people find it. When you take the time to hit the subscribe button, when you take the time to write us a short rating and review and, you know, we're looking for an honest review. But when you do that, you might also hear yourself here on Happen To Your Career. Now I want to share one with you, this is a five star review from Stephanie. And she says, "Thank you both for being the listening ears that I needed and putting things in perspective. I'm glad I came across your podcast and was able to get out exactly what I needed. And I'll never be able to share fully how much Lisa and Scott have helped me. I know it may feel like there's not much done, because I've just barely started. However, between coming across the audio course, a few emails between Scott, and lastly, a conversation with Lisa, I feel like I have all the tools that I need. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I've no doubt of the genuine work and what you're doing is great for every single person that you reach out to. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." Thank you, Stephanie. Really appreciate you taking the time to leave the review. And thanks for helping get the word out to all kinds of other people. We really, really appreciate that. Hey, I can't wait to see you next week. We'll be back. And until then, go out there Happen To Your Career. All right. Adios. I'm out.

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