It’s Who You Know

I have a friend who just landed a fantastic job. He’s a bright guy and has some really unique skills. He’s retired from the military and has been doing some consulting the past few months while looking for a job. It’s a big wow job and the kind of job that will lead to other things. His new boss has already told him they want to create a transition plan for him to move up the ladder. They are moving him across the country, helping him sell his house here and buy a new house there. So it’s a big deal. Congrats to him.

So I asked him about his job search; how he had gone about things and what worked. “My network,” is what he said. He got several interviews because he knew the people doing the hiring, even if he wasn’t qualified for the position. The job he ended up taking, not only did he know them, he had done some work for the decision makers at some point that really saved them. So when the negotiations started, he had leverage and used it to get what he wanted. He described it as he eventually got everything he wanted plus some. When they were negotiating salary, he kept reminding them about that situation he had helped them with. He had a history of being very valuable and would continue to be valuable in his new position. I guess the entire thing took several months, but they go there.

What depresses me about this is that I don’t have that kind of a network. I know people, but I don’t know anyone who is hiring for the type of job that I would leave Acentia for. I don’t have a huge network of people and I’m not good at the political game. I am a get things done person and I want my work to stand for itself. I’m not a big talker unless I have something to say. So I get a little down thinking that I am at a disadvantage with my network, or lack thereof.

But then, the next day, my friend emailed me several job leads that he had turned down. So maybe I do have someone in my network who can help me with that next job!