Hot and Cold Networking Doesn’t Work

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Hot and Cold Networking Doesn’t Work.

The new Jobs Report came out yesterday and the report wasn’t too cheerful. Very tepid job growth. That’s life in the New Normal. We live in a world with an unemployment rate of 8.2% in the U.S. My friend Lynn Marie Hammond reminded me that the Euro Zone’s stagnant economy has left 17.4 million people out of an active population of around 156 million people without a job.

I read in this month’s issue of OC Metro that even the well educated and diverse Orange County, the land of desperate and over indulged housewives only added 12,600 jobs in the last year. Not much growth for a county of three million people.

The same issue had another survey among OC Executives. The percentage of respondents who expect business activity to improve or stay the same today was 84%, an increase from 78% last year. You see today in the New Normal progress is when things stay the same. We have all seen the job market free fall and we have learned that staying the same is an acceptable platform. It is survival.

In this world, many people still believe that the Old Normal will return and they network that way.

I call it hot and cold networking. When they are looking for a job it is all about the networking. “Let’s catch up at Starbucks.”  “Let’s get together to see how I can help you.” “Would love to catch up.” When they land they revert to their old habits. You never see them or hear from them.

You reach out to them after they have been with their employer for a few months to check in. They are too busy for Starbucks or lunch. They have no time. They have a job and don’t need your network anymore.

These are the hot and cold networkers of today.

Then in today’s world of the New Normal they are on the street again. They are not ready to be fired. They reach out again and want to network. They try to atone for their past behavior. They promise change.

After years of seeing this from many I have lost layers of compassion.

I’m sure we have all met hot and cold networkers.

What they don’t understand is that today you have to be networking all the time. Just like sharks you have to be constantly out there expanding your resources and learning about opportunities. Opportunities and jobs are being created but they are often spread through word of mouth because nobody wants to deal with a deluge of submissions from unqualified people.

Truth be told, hot and cold networkers don’t come to mind first when I hear about jobs.

What is your networking temperature?

Watch: How to Rise Above the Crowd

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7 thoughts on “Hot and Cold Networking Doesn’t Work

  1. Reminds me of a story:
    Two men go into a bank. They are both well dressed, nondescript sort of men with polished shoes, clean shaven smiling faces and manicured nails. The bank is an old First National type of structure, sturdy weather beaten Art Deco with tellers behind bullet proof glass but also with fancy grills. The two men walk into the bank with duffle bags. One goes to the north end where there is a teller and the other goes to the south end where a line of cubicle desks suggests private banking. They start to get served and that’s when the men’s intentions are made clear. They are there, with their duffle bags, to make a withdrawl. One wants a loan and the other wants the interest on the principal he’s been depositing for years.

    For one of these two men, the emotions may be as intense as if he were party to a robbery.

    But, Hank, let’s also remember that the bank in my story did not have a run on. The ground you work on will only bear fruit if it is fertile.

    Here’s another story.
    Two men met at a bus stop and began chatting to each other while they waited. They laughed together and felt warm in each other’s presence. They exchanged phone numbers. Then the bus came and they forgot their conversation as they refocused on their destination. They may have waved to each other as one stepped off the bus before the other. Or not.

    Humanity is all around us. It’s a shame friendships are so hard to comeby but not surprising when even marriages fail. People feel awkward chatting at a bus stop but safer in their structured cubicle until the day the cubicle and its structure ceases to exist.

    You might be surprised to hear the objections I get when I remind people of the wisdom that each of us lives our lives as one multi-tasking person rather than as people with multi-tasks.

  2. Robyn Barnes

    Some of the most interesting people I’ve met are the ones who have been the most transient. They couldn’t do a thing for me and I couldn’t do anything to help them; we passed a few minutes together in a line and moved on. But I remember them.

    As a seven-time layoff survivor, I understand the value of constant networking. I get what you are saying. I currently am fortunate enough to have a full-time job. I’m also a mother, a wife, a parental caregiver and a sibling. Some weeks there just isn’t time left over to even be a good friend, let alone meet someone to network. I now use Facebook and LinkedIn for that. I’d love to spend time in person with my network but there isn’t always enough of it to go around.

    Keep up the good work, Hank! I enjoy reading your blog!

  3. Kevin Mautino

    I would say people treat LinkedIn with a hot and cold approach as well — a lot will beef up their profiles and engage only when they’re looking for a job. It’s important to use that platform, not just to hype themselves, but to share relevant content pertaining to their industry, share their thoughts, and keep networking with those who can enrich your career (no matter which state it’s in).

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