Thanks for your advice about meeting people and making personal contacts to get a job in Do you discriminate against employers? You should. It makes sense… except when you don’t have friends! LOL! Besides, it’s awkward!
Nick’s Quick Advice
Yeah, I know — it’s awkward to meet people to get a job. (It makes you cringe, right?) You’re in good company. And everybody in that company is wrong.
When I bring up making new personal contacts, everyone likes to excuse themselves by saying they just don’t have professional contacts, their old work buddies are long gone, no one can help them.
My answer is: Bunk.
It’s an excuse, my friend. We all learn to be lazy because we feel awkward reaching out to new people. You have to get over it.
Meeting people, making contacts, making new friends and talking shop is a skill. You learn it and practice it. (Please see I don’t know anybody.) If you don’t practice this important skill, you lose — and the job boards and online applications will not be your automated substitute for the 40-70% of jobs that are filled via personal contacts.
If you quietly fill out online job applications, you’re at the mercy of HR departments that process database records all day long while you wait for them to contact you. You already know that doesn’t work, so why do you keep pretending?
The only alternative is the one that has worked for centuries:
Personal Contacts: Go talk to people.
Meeting people to get introduced to hiring managers and new job opportunities makes sense. You know it does — but you just don’t want to think about it. I know it’s awkward for many people. So go into your bathroom, lock the door, look in the mirror. Smile at yourself for a few seconds, then scream at yourself:
PRETENDING A DATABASE IS GONNA FIND ME A JOB IS BUNK! I KNOW BETTER!
And you do.
Diddling the keyboard to find a job makes no sense at all — except to “job services” like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, Monster, and every other job board. Their entire business model is based on you not finding a job, and on you returning again and again to the digital swill pot for a drink. (See Reductionist Recruiting: A short history of why you can’t get hired.)
Those companies make more money when you can’t find a job and when employers can’t fill jobs. That’s how the employment industry works. It’s not how people get hired.
I’m not beating you up, just shaking you a bit. Please listen.
For more about making personal contacts, see “A Good Network Is A Circle of Friends” and “How to initiate insider contacts” in How Can I Change Careers? It’s not just for career changers — it’s for anyone who wants to stand out when applying for a job. Until Dec. 5, 2016, you can get 40% off any Ask The Headhunter PDF book — at checkout, use discount code=MERRYATH.