Categories: Career Help
Several years ago a friend "in transition" (a euphemism for "unemployed and looking for a job") asked me to look at his résumé.
He figured there must be something wrong with it because it never helped him find a job. The only way he ever found work was by knowing somebody.
I'm not surprised. It seems to me the thing to work on is not just tweaking one's résumé, but rather getting to know more "somebodies."
The way to do that is through professional networking.
I'm a very proactive networker with connections around the world, but that wasn't always the case. In the past I found (my mistaken understanding of) networking to be distasteful. If you'd asked me what I thought of it, I would have said:
1. Networking is self-serving.
2. I want to make it on my own.
3. It's enough to be really good at what you do.
Live and learn. Somewhere along the way, I realized no one really makes it on their own. And it isn't enough just to be good at what you do.
We are social creatures. We exist as part of the wonderful super-network known as human society, within which we create sub-networks to suit our particular needs.
Yes, some "networkers" are self-serving, in the same way that some people are selfish. But one need not be selfish to network.
On the contrary, I decided to turn the idea on its head. Rather than network for selfish motives, rather than seek to meet and know people to advance my own agenda, I would network for others. (This was a revolutionary idea for me, but that's because I was ignorant. Good networkers knew this already.)
Each of us has gifts and talents, and I'm no exception. What I know and what I can do are valuable, and I would like to use what I know and what I can do to help other people succeed. If, in the end, that contributes to my own success (it will and it does) that is a delightful consequence.
It's simple: Know more people, help more people.
When I recently found myself "in transition," I appealed earnestly to my network. The response was overwhelming and touching. Ultimately, it helped me succeed. It's very satisfying to have seen the goodness and generosity of my network and to know that so many fine people stood ready to help.
You can't achieve that with a résumé, however perfectly crafted.