Monday, February 16, 2009

Networking Amnesia

Last week I facilitated a workshop for 40 professionals and managers in transition called, “Getting Back to Business in Uncertain Times.” In addition to focusing on the usual job search strategies and techniques, we spend a fair amount of time talking about the challenges facing job seekers in this market.

There was, of course, a great deal of stress and anxiety, and most of the participants realized that managing their emotions and keeping a positive attitude might make the difference between a receiving a job offer and being “candidate # 2”. We also spent time talking about how those who are willing to work the process with discipline and courage are the ones who will be re-employed sooner.

The one theme that repeated throughout the session was that networking, practiced regularly and with finesse, is a real difference maker and is the one thing people can do to maintain a sense of hope and control in an otherwise non-rational process. As sophisticated as most of the participants were, many did not fully appreciate the power of networking, both in making meaningful connections, but also in building momentum into the process.

Furthermore, even though most in the room had gotten virtually all of their previous jobs through connections, they seemed resistant to that fact and some even claimed “networking amnesia,” having forgotten how effective the process was during earlier transitions. Fortunately, by the time the workshop was over, there was near unanimous agreement on the power of networking and everyone in the room stood up at the end to make a verbal agreement to make networking a core strategy in getting back to business.

Let us know if we can help with your networking efforts or anything else regarding your transition or career issues.

Best wishes.

Mark Guterman