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It’s All About Relationships

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 8, 2009 7:22 AM |

I had a conversation last week with a recent college graduate working in the finance industry. He was recently laid off. Understandably, he was somewhat miffed and unsettled. I was happy to talk to him. My first statement to him was that he has approximately another 40 work years in front of him. Given the length of time and the dramatic changes ongoing in our economic landscape, I offered that this was actually an interesting time to be in the job market because change creates opportunity. His initial deadpan response was not unexpected and actually hoped for. I did not want to be merely a shoulder for him to lean on and commiserate. I advised him that his next job would not necessarily find him, he must find it. In that spirit, I enthusiastically apprised him to actively engage people in dialogue and conversations.

I told him to not even look for interviews but first and foremost to gather information. Utilizing a variety of networks (friends, family, college alums, neighbors, cold calls), I strongly impressed upon him that he needed to remain engaged.

Looking for work and defining a career path should not be a random event. However, in these times many people understandably get overwhelmed. What do they do? Their job search becomes a lot of e-mailing, point and click, cover letters, and other impersonal forms of engagement.

Today’s WSJ wrote a great piece, Did You Get My Resume? on this approach. I thought so highly of it that I included it in the Must Reads section of the Career Planning tab here at Sense on Cents. I view online job applications as the equivalent of buying a lottery ticket.

I hope in reading the WSJ piece, you avail yourself of the other Must Reads which also promote the concept of developing relationships and discipline. While the “game” is in the midst of a torrential downpour and subsequent “rain delay,” I am enormously enthused that new businesses and opportunities will arise. Also, who wants to come into a game near its climax?  I’d much rather enter as new ground is being cultivated and nurtured.

I would also offer that while many, if not most, firms are in a downsizing mode, they are or can be in an upgrading mode. Even if they are not necessarily looking to upgrade, I would encourage job seekers to broach that very topic.

I do hope that the Career Planning Workshop and Must Reads prove helpful as people navigate the current economic landscape.


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