Posted Posted by tomparr123 in Blog     Comments Comments Off on Networking

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I was speaking with the Head of Adult Services at our local library about a program she has established for helping library patrons with their career searches. I do some volunteer work for this program – helping people write new resumes. Our conversation led us to an examination of one of our ongoing problems – even though we both know that many of our local residents are looking for employment, almost nobody comes to the program for resume assistance.

There are probably many explanations for this, but we focused on one of the major reasons. Many people do not want their friends, neighbors and relatives to know that they are looking for a job. They are embarrassed; they are ashamed; they are caught up in the old feeling that “there must be something wrong with me if I don’t have a job.” Unfortunately, this feeling of “not wanting anyone to know I’m looking for a job” is in direct conflict with the most important thing a person can do when he/she needs a job – networking!
As a recruiter and a career counselor, I tell people who are looking for a job to tell everybody they know. This networking activity is the single most important part of a career search. Even in this era of the internet, job boards, instant communication and specialized recruiters, most professionals who effectively network find better jobs, and more quickly, than those who don’t. My advice is to let everybody know that you are seeking your next career opportunity – not just people who might want to hire you – everyone you know. Tell your dentist – you never know who might be sitting in that chair after you leave. Tell your accountant – he/she meets with professionals and managers all the time. Tell your neighbor – his company might be hiring, or his dentist/accountant might have just told him about someone else’s career opportunity. They say that we are each only 5 people away from knowing everyone. I’m not sure that’s true, but I am sure that the best single thing you can do if you are actively seeking your next career opportunity is to tell people that you are looking.

Here’s a related thought. When I started recruiting 30 years ago, there were some employers who did not want to consider individuals who were not working. Those days are long gone. In these times of mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, down sizings and cost reductions, just about everyone has either lost a job due to no fault of his/her own or knows people who have had this happen to them. The stigma is just about gone – the few people who still think that way are not worth your time or your concern. Concentrate on the hiring managers who will consider who you are and what you’ve accomplished when making their hiring decisions.


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