It is well known that small companies (those with less than 500 employees) now hire about 50% of all chemists. While large companies are easy to find because you’ve heard of them, small ones can be a bit more of a challenge. The good news is since fewer people take the time to seek them out, there is often less competition for these positions.
If you need to find small companies in a particular geographic area, there are several ways to do it. Some ACS local sections, including mine, keep a list of companies at which members work. This can be a great source of qualified leads – you already know they hire professional chemists. You can also talk to the members who work there, and find out what it’s really like.
If your section doesn’t keep such a list, you can use a tool like Google Maps. Go to http://maps.google.com/, and put in the address of where you’d like to live/work. A map will appear with an arrow in that location, and one of the options will be “search nearby”. Enter “chemicals” and see how many companies show up in the local area. Try other keywords (pharmaceutical, chemists…) and see what shows up. Not only will you see exactly how far away they are, but the URL of each company is displayed, so you can start your research on the company right away.
Another good resource to use is a commercial database. Reference USA is available in my local public library, and allows me to search for companies based on size, location, industry, and a host of other options. In my case, I can access the database from my home office, simply by typing in my library card number. I’ll often start by looking up a company I know about, reading their parameters, then searching for other companies with the same SIC code (standard industrial classification.)
It’s amazing what you can find in your own backyard!