Do You Help Your Friends Who Have Been Fired?

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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.” Continue reading

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Lessons from the Great Recession.

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I learned a lot from the Great Recession. A lot. It was a very difficult time for many people and continues to be for many that haven’t emerged.

I have spoken to many transition groups multiple times and have met with countless people during those years. It is not difficult to feel and see despair and frustration.  In those days nobody would even dare ask at the beginning or end of the meetings if there were any good news stories about people landing because there weren’t any. Everybody was running for cover when the world was melting and we were losing 500,000 jobs a month.  Today some people are able to raise their hands and say they have landed or secured a consulting gig.  There is more hope in the air.  Guarded hope.

You don’t find out about the economy in the paper; you learn the true economic reports on the streets and during the great recession many people including me felt at times that we were licking the sidewalks of life.

I learned many things being one of the founders of Laguna Niguel Connectors a group that grew from 4 people to over 3200 currently on Linkedin.  I learned about the power of people, the blessings of serendipity and the engine called Linkedin. When you had over 100 people meeting for endless months on the third Friday of the month in Laguna Niguel who were in transition it wasn’t too difficult to see that the recession had touched every community and every street. The miracle of Laguna Niguel connectors was the quality of the people that attend and the pay it forward helpful attitude of the vast majority of its attendees.

I learned that there are Angels of the recession. People like Cindy Pickens who founded Café Net and has helped thousands of people in transition without ever asking for a dime.  Many people who volunteered their time to speak on Linkedin at various venues to help those in transition master its power in the job search. People like Sven Johnston, Ted Robison and Tim Tyrell-Smith. And there are many more.

Although the recession was very painful for many I think it provided great lessons for today’s youth.  Prior to the great recession many were the enabled generation with high levels of expectations of entitlement.  Today I believe that the Millenials are a very responsible and industrious group who has learned through the pain of many of their parents that many institutions can’t be trusted any longer and that hype is just that.  Hype. They also understand that the employer-employee relationship is much different these days and for the future.

I have learned that business had changed forever.  That you need many more irons in the fire than before if you are hunting for a job or a project.  Decision making and approvals can take much longer. Budgets are tighter and every dollar must have a return.

I have also learned that the benefit of social currency that you get from networking can be even more powerful than that of financial currency because your network of people is what truly enriches you life.

So what have you learned?

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch his video on YouTube on How to Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4

Networking Tips for People in Transition.

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I have spoken on networking and personal branding to numerous networking groups frequented by people in transition including ExecuNet, CafeNet, Women Sage, Ken Tudhope ‘s Networking Group for CFO’s, and the Challenger Networking Group.  I am also one of the Founders of Laguna Niguel Connectors which has over 2800 members.  I relate to people in transition because as a consultant I am always perpetually employed in many ways.

Because of my network, companies sometimes use me for recruiting so I have talked and met with numerous job seekers.  I see a lot of good things and some things that scare me and make me ask why would a person do that or not do that?

So here are some tips for job hunters for 2012.  Finally the hiring momentum is moving in the right direction.  Make sure that you are ready to capitalize.

  • First, sharpen your tools.  Many times I see resumes with no e mails, I see no salutations on people’s emails, I get calls on my cell phone from blocked numbers so I cannot call the people back when I am driving.  All of these things make it harder to get in touch with people.  In this day and age of numerous candidates for every position you have to make yourself as sticky as possible and extremely easy to connect with.
  • Invest in yourself. When I hear the news comments about the hundreds of thousands of people who have stopped working I can’t help to wonder if some of those people just aren’t keeping themselves marketable. Is your business card stock the weight of toilet paper?  If your Linkedin photo looks like it was shot by an amateur you aren’t investing in yourself.  Who’s to blame if you aren’t staying current on trends, technology, social media and other hiring practices?
  • Drop any negative baggage.  It’s a weight. Don’t listen to your mind. Feed your mind. The smarter you become, the easier you will be to hire and the better your attitude will be.
  • Quit wasting your time.  Asking second degree connections on Linkedin to introduce you to somebody that they are connected with on the second or third degree is not a warm introduction.  It is futility in job hunting.  Networking isn’t connecting strangers to strangers.
  • Remember that in hiring there are two clocks.  There is the company hiring clock that moves very very slowly.  And then there is the hiring clock for people in transition.  They do not run at the same speed.  Not even close.  Quit driving yourself crazy by trying to align them.  Things will happen when they are meant to. You have no control over the schedule.
  • Who were the two or three most influential people you met last year?  Spend more time with them in the coming year.  Obviously they had an impact on you.  Try to stoke those fires by spending more time with them. They are as valuable as Connectors.
  • Think of Linkedin as Twitter and update your profile with substance four times a day.  Remember that your target audience is not your friends but your potential hiring manager.  Post accordingly.
  • If you have stopped networking you have stopped looking for a job.  Over 70% of jobs are found through referrals or associates.  You only need to meet one person to change your life. There is a good chance they won’t come to your house. What if they were at that networking event or Starbucks you blew off derailing your potential journey?  People create opportunities not Tweets.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch some this video on How To Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4

Read this article on How To Create a Job.

https://hankblank.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/how-to-create-a-job-by-creating-a-consulting-career/