Some things I have learned from Networking with people in transition


I have been a very active networker for years and often speak to companies and organizations on the different benefits of networking. I have always networked with people in transition even before the great recession. Networking with people in transition has provided me with both financial and social currency and made me much smarter.

One of the things I have learned is that maybe in the past everyone was a little too quick to judge people in transition as if there was some type of stigma about being unemployed.  Now I think most people see it a little differently because everybody realizes that anybody can quickly be in transition no matter what their competence or skill level.

I also look at companies much differently these days and I think in the long term their brands could be very vulnerable.  Companies want consumers to be loyal to their brands yet they aren’t very loyal to their employees and in most cases people have become quickly disposable.  Recently I read that Hewlett Packard posted very strong earnings in their latest quarter. They soon followed that up by cutting 9000 employees.  I really have second thoughts about buying a $38 HP ink cartridge when I walk into Staples.  Maybe one day I will trade in my HP Officejet Pro 8500 for a Kodak copier because I heard they use less ink.

I also think that the hiring model is antiquated.  The whole HR function is under turmoil and many companies are outsourcing that function as it is not perceived as a profit generator.

So you have HR people, many of whom are paranoid about their own jobs, in charge of hiring so they are risk adverse.  With worry comes consensus decision making, risk avoidance and safe hires.

Does this breed a culture of hiring innovators?  I don’t think so.  Would they hire somebody like Steve Jobs who doesn’t even have a college degree?  I doubt it.  Will this be good for long term innovation within companies?

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin.

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Here is one on How to Rise Above the Crowd.  Enjoy.

Hank Blank speaks on the benefits of networking to companies and organizations.  If you are interested in having Hank as a speaker, email


2 thoughts on “Some things I have learned from Networking with people in transition

  1. As companies became less and less loyal to employees, those employees shifted their loyalties to their industry (or to their career, in general).

    Instead of patiently waiting for promotions, many people realized they needed to build a strong personal and professional network of contacts – and job hop.

    While this seems to help many people gain experience and skills, it doesn’t help employers build what they say is their greatest asset – their people.

  2. Sandhya Larsen

    Important thoughts, Hank. It seems that loyalty as a cultural value has become outmoded across the board. Considering the evils of outsourcing, there is no loyalty to the American work force as a whole, what to speak of loyalty toward individuals. Regarding HR, recruiting, and the interview process, I’ve noticed that nowadays everything is quick and dirty. Nobody really wants to get to know you….they just want to fill the slot in no time flat. If that means they get mediocre performance, who cares? Companies don’t really want excellent performance. That would have to be recognized and rewarded, and that would cost money. Speaking of money, Costco will refill your HP printer cartridges for $7.95.

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