“Settlers of Catan” is a great analogy for your job search

Have you ever played Settlers of Catan? It’s my favorite board game because it’s a game of tactic, skill and luck.

Just like a job search.

When you start a game of Catan, you have to thoughtfully select your first two settlement placements. Where you place your initial settlements and roads is important because it can determine your success in the game. I’d like to stress that your initial planning and research is equally important to your success in a highly effective job search.

One critical mistake that I see many job seekers make is that they don’t have a target list of employers and they are just focused on job postings they see online.

If you are planning to start a search in 2019, before you do anything ask yourself:

– What is my target?

– Will this help me reach my 5 year plan?

– Who specifically hires people in these roles (the question is NOT who is *currently* hiring) – Do I have any connections to the companies that hire these roles?

– Who are the hiring managers for my target positions?

– How can I meet these individuals (informational interviews, networking events, alumni events, volunteering, etc)

What are some other suggestions for people doing initial job search planning?


  • Sarah Johnston

    I’m a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. I have relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and have had to execute job searches in completely cold markets (where I literally knew no one!) I have been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space in 2019, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

Sarah Johnston

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