I do because many people that I hardly know have given their friends to me.
You get a call or an e mail from a former co-worker or a friend.
“Hey buddy I just got let go. No way. That sucks. You are great. You will find a job soon. They will miss you and be sorry soon that’s for sure.”
“Can you have a Starbucks with me?”
“I would love to but I have a convention or something else coming up but I have a guy you should connect with.”
“His name is Hank Blank and he is really well connected and knows everyone. He is a great networker.”
Then I get the email. Hank please meet my great friend ……
It has happened for years. During the Great Recession, the .Dotcom bust, and even before that.
Don’t remember the .Dotcom bust? It happened in 2001.
At the beginning of the new century.
Soon after Y2K, “the impending global doom.” The first time man thought that computers were smarter than modern man. Minor compared to the financial crisis of 2008.
I don’t mind meeting your friends.
I can relate to them and the fact that they are in transition. I haven’t had a job for over a decade. That’s the benefit of working for yourself. You can starve to death but you can’t get fired.
Over the years, I have learned that your network is more valuable than your job because my network has created my job.
I also like your friends, their stories and their journeys. Most importantly their truths.
People are the best way to learn about companies. The key decision makers. Who controls the budget?
Networking gives you intelligence that makes you very smart. Intelligence generates opportunities. Insights are billable.
Your network helps you predict the future.
Your network is the newspaper of the New Normal but filled with more truth.
As a consultant, I also know that your network makes your more scalable.
Companies today understand that a team of smart independents can be an effective solution to solve their problems.
So I have no problem meeting your fired friends in the New Normal.
The problem is that if you just give your friends to me, they might not be there for you when you are on the bench.
May not happen. I hope it will never happen.
I can share many stories from this week that it may but I don’t want to be a party pooper. Corporate America will take care of that.
When you are in transition you will find out that finding a job takes great patience.
The only thing that people in transition don’t have.
That’s because bills and mortgage payments don’t have patience. They have never taken a yoga class.
So how do you help your friends who are on the bench?
Not just with an e mail. Not just with a few texts. Not just with a call.
With your time. Lots of personal time in a texting world. More time than you want to spend and then some more time for personal follow up and introductions.
I don’t have the time to do it Hank. I have got to protect my butt and my job.
You see your long term career development program should be based on constant networking and helping friends who are out of the game.
If you invest now you will reap when you find yourself in the same position even if you believe it will never happen.
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