Friday, November 14, 2014
Making Friends, Instead of Networking
Written by Larry Light who has been a member of the Philadelphia Area Coaches Alliance (PACA), International Coach Federation (ICF) and Coachville. He has served on the Board of Directors of FortyPlus.
When we last had lunch together, another coach, whom I’ve known for a long time and doesn’t always follow the traditional path, told me without reservation:
“For getting jobs, you don’t need resumes, you need lots of friends.”
At that time, it seemed too simple a formula. Too pat. Too easy. So I said:
“Philip, I agree with you, but you also need a powerhouse resume and you have to know how to handle yourself in an interview.”
“Larry,” he said, “look at it this way: If I worked at a business and needed somebody to fill a position and had a friend who fit it, that would be my first choice.”
“I agree,” I said. “But how often does that happen?”
Well, I just worked with a client who landed a job paying $100,000-plus a year, and guess what? Everything Philip said was true.
This individual was laid off last March. Along the way he contacted a person he knew whom he did business with previously at a big-box retailer – a high level executive who knew him, knew his work, liked his way of doing things, thought he had integrity and was extremely effective. And this high-level executive personally recommended my client to two companies, and sent the powerhouse resume that I helped my client to build, on to them. One was in his own company, in a different area than the one in which he worked, and the other went to one of their major sub-contractors. The first was located on the West Coast; the other on the East Coast.
By the way, this high-level executive had known my client starting back more than five years ago. My client had kept in contact with him in his present job, after their business relationship had ended.
The result? Two interviews on the phone, and then in person, one on each side of the country. My client, in effect, went to the head of the line in both cases, probably because both recipients trusted the judgment of the referring person, and I’d guess they also did it as a courtesy to him. I coached him prior to both interviews.
The West Coast interviewer liked my client, but ultimately hired an in-house person. BUT … he asked that, no matter what my client did, he keep in touch because “Our paths may cross again. Who knows? We might be doing business together, or another opportunity might open up.”
The final offer came from the sub-contractor. It was low and originally required relocation, which my client didn’t want to do, so I coached him through the negotiations. He got the $100,000 as a result of the negotiations, plus a bonus, plus the agreement that he could commute long-distance to the new location for a year before actually having to move.
None of this might have happened if the big-box high-level executive hadn’t recommended my client and sent out his powerhouse resume. He would have been afloat in a veritable sea of hundreds of applicants, some of them well-qualified no doubt, and at the mercy of any HR person who did initial screening.
So my colleague Philip was right. You need to make friends out there. As many as possible. Meet people, get to know them, let them know what you’re doing and how well you do it. I might add that some people call this “networking.” And, if you want to know more about how to do it correctly, how to start if you haven’t started, or if you’re shy and afraid, or stop yourself from doing it by telling yourself you need to be a salesman or outgoing… See my eBook and Video Workshop about this and learn how to develop this all-important, critical skill.
Learn more from Larry's Networking video workshop and ebook here.
eJobCoach was created by Lawrence M. Light, who brings more than fifteen years as a successful career / job coach to helping clients. As a website dedicated to helping job-seekers find new jobs, it also includes information about the comprehensive, new "Find A New Job" eGuide.
To contact Larry Light, call (949) 716-3581 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.