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Networking Advice ------All about who you know? Why?  

 

Sir Tim Hunt
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Posts: 37
April 22, 2020 3:32 pm  

In light of the COVID pandemic, there will be a significant number of people looking for work soon and they will depend on networking. This includes contacting people they might not know or depending on the kindness of strangers. In this vain, I was wondering what you thought of Gary's advice on networking: 

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/21/never-overlook-this-important-factor-when-job-searching-coronavirus-says-hiring-ceo.html

If I had a opportunity to ask Gary about his advice, I would ask him:

1) What is your definition of proper networking?

2) Would you only help good friends who you know well? 

3) Would you pass over a polite qualified candidate because you didn't know them well enough?

4) What are you trying to protect; think that your contacts will unfairly judge you if this person gets a job and it doesn't work out?

I have a cousin, an engineer, that started a business and his attorney who worked at DLA Piper. Three years ago, I wanted to contact this attorney for a referral to DLA Piper's biotech group. However, my cousin refused to provide me with that connection. He told me that he didn't know me that well and thought I was not qualified even though he does NOT have a background in the life sciences. So, I contacted this attorney on my own and he gladly gave me the referral.

Still today I never understood this mindset (even with 25 plus years of professional experience) among people like Gary and my cousin; what are they protecting. I am sure there are many unqualified people who you (Gary) would gladly provide a referral because you know them well enough. So, if you were looking for a referral or lead at a company where you didn't know anyone connected with that company, would you admonish them for reaching out to someone they might not know that well (i.e. an acquittance)? If so, why? Aren't you limiting opportunities for yourself?

PS: Strange thinking for a CEO of a recruiting firm? What is the harm of providing your acquittance with a referral to a recruiter or a profesional colleague?  Frankly, I would be more worried about this guy's background than how well you know him in determining whether you helped this guy. 

I believe in the karma of paying it forward and that the polite, persistent squeaky wheel gets ahead.   

If I find Gary's email, I will post it here and send him a copy of this post. 

This topic was modified 3 months ago by Sir Tim Hunt

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Dave Jensen
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 935
April 22, 2020 6:47 pm  

There's nothing unusual or different about Gary's advice. That's just the way he sees things. I think his attitude of "give first, than ask" is the right one for any networking, at any level. I'd disagree with him that when someone calls out of the blue, and asks for help. Yes, they should have been thinking about the "give first" but in this case, they may be desperate and I would in no way hold back from referring that person to a client hiring manager, or to a recruiter in our organization. My attitude is take all the calls, help as often as possible. But I do indeed, as Gary does, draw conclusions on whether I would personally ever work with a person or present that person to my clients. Some like the "Joe" in the story would be given some contacts, but I certainly wouldn't be actively supporting that individual's job seeking efforts.

 

Dave Jensen

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
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DX
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Posts: 620
April 24, 2020 9:18 pm  

Just to add re: COVID situation - not good on the job front - a reminder now to keep networking and, if not networking, start doing it. 

im personally resurrecting old contacts and keeping up now on the recruiter network.  At the moment, I have my job and remote working - for me status quo - my job has been remote-based for the past couple years and where as I’m well established in career and job -but  just never know these days - things can change tomorrow - I mean literally tomorrow - these are the times.  Just unpredictable. 

This is also the time to Tool Up -  no matter how tenure and senior one is - one needs to invest in continued skill and knowledge development - there are many many offerings on-line and virtual now - good timings to identify education and training that can be done remotely. 

so that’s all to add - keep the networking up - tool up - people are on-line more but be advised, people are busier than ever from more digital noise to balancing family needs and so on - so be sensitive things may be moving slower on the job hunting front.

We are all feeling the pain - hang in there and stay safe!

DX

 

This post was modified 3 months ago by DX

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Sir Tim Hunt
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 37
May 13, 2020 2:04 pm  

Thanks for your advice everyone. It seems Gary is thinking if he knows someone well they must be more qualified and can be trusted with my contacts. Sometimes a job seeker has to network with strangers to land a job. Further, it seems Gary only trusts and is willing to help those he knows well. Even from a business standpoint, i think this thinking is foolish because this candidate could have helped fill a position by one of his recruiters, Frankly, I would have been more worried more about the insider trading allegations. Just because you don't know someone, don't assume they are not qualified in terms of expertise and fit. Help those who are nice and seem qualified; pay it forward. You reap what you sow professionally. Karma

Frankly, I don't what the big deal is and why people think this way. People with Gary's thinking are a networking dead end and he is probably a jerk. Makes networking difficult.


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Sir Tim Hunt
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Posts: 37
May 13, 2020 2:07 pm  

Dave, Gary exhibits the "what's in for me attitude." What can a candidate offer to a guy like Gary? Move on, dead end. Stinky thinking.


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Dave Jensen
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May 15, 2020 12:11 am  

Colleague 45751 says, "Dave, Gary exhibits the "what's in for me attitude." What can a candidate offer to a guy like Gary? Move on, dead end. Stinky thinking."

I think that might be a bit harsh. Clearly, every business owner has the right to run their business in the way that they want. Perhaps I'm a bit stronger on personal liberties than some others, but if I wanted to open a company that recruits only engineers with 2 to 5 years of experience and someone who was a biologist with 20 years of experience came, I don't think it's wrong saying that I can't help them. This guy could be the same way. For some reason, he's put up some kind of barriers around who he is going to help, and who he isn't going to help, and that's his business model. Good luck to him if that's the case. But perhaps a "stinky" business model.

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
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DX
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May 18, 2020 7:51 am  

The other side of the coin is "how" you help some one.   You can have someone who does not have the necessary experience, but it is clearly obvious they have spend time "tooling-up".

In this case an example is someone with not only a sound CV but someone who has spent time research the career path of interest, have done their informational interviewing, have done their research and most importantly can "speak" to learnings, skills, and discuss very clearly their career ambitions, drivers,  and how they are a fit for their target job and industry.  They're not just standing on a box stating how great they are scientifically.  Maybe that's a person you take forward and connect for job propsects.

Then there are folks who, as an example profile, are just at the start of their career transition, and job seeking, not really "ready" in terms of no research into the field of interest, there CV is no adapted and perhaps they're just embarking on informational interviewing and for that person, one can "help" that person by telling them to re-look at their CV, or consider learning more about the field, or connect them to an expert for information gathering only (that  still supports networking). 

We don't have endless resource, I'm with Dave a small help is always a good thing, but something one should be wary about is pestering the person who gave initial help. There is a time one says "thank you" and move on.  Don't forget the help, even the smallest of help can be worth it's weight in gold. 

DX


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Dave Jensen
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Posts: 935
May 19, 2020 4:51 pm  

Thanks DX. You're sure right about the advice to not go back and pester people. I like to help, and I'm pleased when I get a follow up thanks and so on. But repeated requests, umpteen emails and so on . . . Man, sometimes people just go so far overboard.

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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