I have spoken to many job hunting groups on Networking including CafeNet, ExecuNet, Challenger Networking , and Costa Mesa Connectors among others. Been doing it for years. I am also one of the Cofounders of Laguna Niguel Connectors.
Often I get an e mail introduction from people I don’t know introducing me to somebody in transition. The e mail often goes to other people as well. The person tells me that they are trying to help “A brother in need.” I call this the Networking Handoff. I see it all the time. Why not just pass this person along to somebody that has a large network. It doesn’t seem very sincere to me. It is superficial help. If this person really wants to help his fellow brother he should spend some time walking in their shoes.
Strangers passing people along to somebody they don’t really know doesn’t really help anybody.
Many people are quick to volunteer other people’s time rather than spending their own. It is a little like that old Let Mikey Try It Commercial.
Sure I believe in the Paying It Forward but there needs to be boundaries to everything. I am a consultant. I have less time than most people that work because you see in many ways I am perpetually unemployed.
When I get requests introducing me to somebody that I don’t know asking me to go into my Rolodex to find this person their next opportunity I wonder if these people have any clue about what I do. They see me as a big data base. I have a large network for sure but it is not a public domain. It is valuable because I have spent years earning it. Asking me to give it away is a little like shop lifting.
I got an e mail recently from a person I couldn’t visualize. I went to her Linkedin profile but there was not photo so that made it very difficult to recall her. She provided a list of target companies and asked me to forward the message to three people in my network with ties to those companies. Is this really an effective job hunting tactic? Was this taught somewhere? That is why college students need to take a course on what to do when they get fired. Not if. When.
I don’t have any problems finding people in transition that I know. There are plenty to help. There are also many people standing at the exits from Costco, Home Depot, or Vons with their signs asking for money. We are all surrounded by need.
To make your job hunting networking efforts effective you need to have a connection with people. A connection on Linkedin isn’t it. A contact in a data base isn’t it. When people email me and tell me we are connected on Linkedin it doesn’t make us college roommates. When I read “Dear Linkedin Friends” from a stranger I think well there is your first mistake.
There is no doubt that networking is still the best way to find a job but as Etta Jones sang, “Don’t Go to Strangers.”
You can connect with Hank on Linkedin
Watch a YouTube Video talking about The Power of Networking.
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