Flyer Design Credit: Darlene Smith
Flyer Design Credit: Darlene Smith
I learned a valuable lesson on the second day of my own job search many years ago about why you should never miss an opportunity to network. I’d just been liberated by my employer of 13 years and was feeling all the emotions we usually feel as we face an uncertain future: anger at my old boss, hurt feelings about leaving the company, and fear about paying the mortgage and other bills.
Lucky for me, my wife worked for one of the world’s three largest career management firms. My company didn’t have the vision or caring to provide outplacement service, so I was very fortunate to receive these career management services pro bono. My second day there, we had a champagne celebration for a fellow job seeker who’d just landed a job. About 40 other seekers, consultants and staff members gathered in the conference room to hear his story.
BTW, they really did serve champagne – along with orange juice and mimosas.
The lucky seeker thanked everyone for their help and then proceeded to tell us that he’d been searching for 18 months (or 30 months; I remember my heart sinking and my stomach churning as he said “something-and-half years”). Then told us he did what his career coach told him to do. He networked. He networked some more. And then still more.
He reached into a catalog case and pulled out a three-ring binder with three-inch rings. He held it up chest high and dropped it on the conference table. Some of us jumped as the thud reverberated through the room.
“Friends this notebook is one of three notebooks I made during my search. It contains hand-written notes from all of my networking calls. I had a very short list of ‘A’ contacts that I called every week. I had ‘B’ contacts I called once a month. I had a long list of ‘C’ contacts I called once a quarter. I also told everyone I met about my job search. People in my neighborhood. Friends at my country club. Even people in line at the grocery store.”
“I told everyone I could think of and everyone I could find – except for one person.”
“Several weeks ago I was sitting in the bleachers at my son’s basketball game. I noticed I was sitting next to the only parent on the team I hadn’t told. I was sure a factory worker like him couldn’t help a guy like me because I was the general counsel of an Atlanta-headquartered firm.” He let that sink in a moment and then restated, “He worked on an assembly line and I worked in a corner office.” Another pause. “Finally I swallowed my pride and summoned my courage and told him my story. To my amazement he said, ‘I know someone who might be able to help you.’”
“Friends, I stand before you today because I got out of my own way and told someone who makes a fraction of what I make about my job search. Never pass up an opportunity to network.”
We cheered while he held up the champagne cork and dropped it in a large goblet with dozens of other corks.
During his remarks, he said the position was created for him. Many years later it dawned on me that he and his family missed a tremendous amount of income because of his pride. Let’s say his cash compensation was $240K per year. If he had that conversation at the beginning of the basketball season, say three months earlier, his pride cost him $60K. If he’d had the conversation 18 months prior, his pride cost him $360K.
Here’s the bottom line. It’s usually hard, if not impossible, to monetize what a weak résumé, a poor strategy, or a bad attitude costs a job seeker. In this case pride was costing this gentleman more than $4600 per week. In business, we call this “opportunity cost.”
What is your opportunity cost per week? What barriers are standing between you and a new job? What are you doing to knock those barriers down? And who do you need to meet with to discuss your job search? Who have you left out?
Take action today to shorten your search, earn more money, and get better results.
– Dave O’Farrell
By Umah Papachan, guest blogger
“Social media like LinkedIn is the way to find people,” said Stephen A. Childs, Director of Human Resources of Panasonic Automotive at a recent JobSeekers meeting in the greater Atlanta area. Mr. Childs, with 20 years’ experience in human resources and talent acquisition, said social media has played a huge role in their talent acquisition process, leadership development, performance management, organizational development and succession planning. “We are developing an in-house website to help us network – with people within Panasonic and the outside world. We can interact with you if you are looking for a job.”
So what’s the best approach to getting noticed on LinkedIn? According to Dave O’Farrell, of O’Farrell Career Management, “There are three key elements to get noticed on LinkedIn. First, it’s imperative to have strong, search engine optimized content (SEO). Second, you must build a large, relevant network – at least 500 connections. And finally, create and maintain frequent, interesting activity. Without all three of these elements, you die a slow death on LinkedIn.”
“It’s much easier now compared to just a few years ago,” said Sara Clarke, Regional Human Resources Manager for Orange Business Services. She noted social media like LinkedIn, “will allow you to find companies and they can find you. “
Once you’ve gotten noticed, take your participation to another level through group participation. According to Stephannie O’Donnell, of O’Farrell Career Management, and organizer of the event, “Not only are groups great for networking with others who have similar interests or industry affiliations; groups are also a good platform to establish yourself as a thought leader by posting relevant content, article links, and posing questions to stimulate discussion.“ She says she has sourced several candidates from groups and checked their levels of engagement prior to interviewing them.
Professionalism and staying current also matter, according to Tanya Turner, Human Resources Generalist at Turner Broadcasting, “Always update your LinkedIn profile. It’s where the action is. And be sure to get a photo that is done professionally.”
Let us know what you think. How have you used LinkedIn in your job search?
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Although being laid off or downsized is never initially viewed as a good thing, it may serve as your catalyst for change. Traditional thinking says, “If I’m a sales person, I need another sales job.” Have you ever taken inventory of what you liked and disliked about your last job? Ranked what is most important to you? Have you ever considered being your own boss? How about creating a new business?
According to AOL Jobs, 15% of small businesses were established following a layoff. Additionally, the SBA reports that:
There are several success stories here in the south metro area. Come to the JobSeekers on May 9, 2014 at First Baptist Church, 208 Willow Bend Road, Peachtree City to interact with these small business owners and hear their stories.
Dan Hix, 59, with 18 years’ medical device sales experience, had been out of work for a year, from 2013 to 2014. He plowed on coping financially and emotionally, until, he met Dave O’Farrell, a career coach and founder of O’Farrell Career Management.
Dave and his marketing director, Stephannie O’Donnell, helped Dan to restructure his resume and highlighted his major accomplishments. They leveraged LinkedIn with the aim to attract any potential employers to his profile.
Dan provided the names of 15 medical companies that he would love to work with. Dave and Stephannie reached out via LinkedIn to these companies. With this new resume, his connections jumped from 250 to 500+. Dave and Stephannie conducted mock interviews and role play to get Dan ready for the interviews.
In mid-Oct 2013, he had two job offers. But a sudden heart-attack took him to the hospital and during his recuperation; he called the two companies to explain the situation. One company had to restructure, so the opening was closed but the other company, his current employer, offered him the job in January 2014.
By Umah Papachan Hewitt — Guest Blogger
40+ job openings at Turner Global Technology & Operations.
6 job openings at Coveris on Careerbuilder–two in Georgia.
7 job openings at Orange Business Services, various locations.
Are you an IT specialist? Sales Champion? Webmaster? Developer? Engineer? Operations Specialist?
Your opportunity to gain job interview tips and more from seasoned HR professionals from all of these companies happens tomorrow morning, 7:45 am, 208 Willow Bend Road, Peachtree City, GA
Are you planning to be there?