I’ve reached a point of my unemployment where I feel like I am really pulling out all the stops.
I am doing everything I can to find a secure, full time position for myself. And this includes networking. I have been actively using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, direct email contacts, etc. You name it. I have tried it.
Now, what I have learned about networking is this –
It is a total crap shoot. And I’m not even sure what that expression means. But it’s a crap shoot.
Let’s first categorize the types of responses I am getting. Oh and by the way, as a warning, this post will be much longer than usual.
This is a semi-common response. I will just not hear from the person. Straight up, no explanation, not even a brush off. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Which is actually not the worst experience with networking I have had so far. I’ll get to that.
I’ll keep my eye out for you (or some variation of this).
This is a one liner response where they tell me that they will keep their eye out for me. This usually means I will never hear from this person again.
Also, not the worst experience I’ve had so far.
No Duh Advice Givers
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do love advice. I love getting the input of other people’s experiences or outlook. I love hearing about what worked for someone else and what didn’t. Really! And I’m not being sarcastic about this – I do mean it. This is everything to a job seeker like me. And a lot of the advice I have received (such as many of you awesome advice givers that leave me comments) I have followed through with and appreciated.
But recently someone asked me, “Have you tried a placement agency?”
This is not earth shattering advice people.
I have tried placement agencies. I didn’t hear back from them. This isn’t to say I will never try again. But I hate advice like this. It isn’t giving me insight. It’s another brush off statement. It’s the same advice along the lines of, “Do you look for jobs on the Internet?”
Worst. Advice. Ever.
Today I received the worst advice on networking that I have heard in my entire life.
So, there was a company I want to work at. This company has a lot of people working there and a LOT of competition for the jobs. I scoured the Internet to find out who I knew that worked at this company or knew someone who did.
Lo and behold…
I found someone! I found a guy that I went to high school with that knows people who work here.
I contacted him. I explained the situation and told him about the job I applied for. I asked if he could talk to one of the people he knew who worked there to put in a good word for me.
And here is what he said, “Umm…are you saying you know someone who works there and you want me to talk to them?
Oh, and we are on Facebook chat by the way. Another note, this is also a guy that I have kept in touch with since we graduated. So he isn’t a total stranger.
Me: “Oh I wish I knew someone at “that company.” I was hoping someone you knew could put in a good word for me to hr.” (I won’t reveal the company I applied to just to protect their identity.)
Him: “Then meet someone who works there!”
Are you kidding me?
Me: “Wow. Thanks. I haven’t thought of that.” (Yes, I’m being a smart ass by this point. Obviously this won’t go anywhere.)
Him: “Really? You should do it! Your cute. Hang out in a bar in the area and be social about it. You’ll meet people!”
Him again: “Works for me and most of the people in tech industry are men!”
Okay, so this ends the conversation.
Let me be clear. Yes, I am single. No, I’m not dating anyone right now. And really that isn’t priority number one right now. Priority is a job. And at any point in the conversation did I even mention dating? Nope. Not at all. And this is not the type of guy I talk about dating with. And aside from the occasional comments on Facebook about guys I think are cute or whatever, I don’t talk about dating on Facebook (I’m private like that).
And so his advice to me was basically this, “Your skills don’t matter. And since you’re a woman whom I have no respect for, I’m telling you to f*ck your way to the top.”
Sorry to be crude, but yes I heard it that way.
And maybe he didn’t mean it quite like that, but it was not good advice. The last thing on most men’s mind when they meet a woman at a bar is, “Oh! How can I help get this bright intelligent woman a job at my company?”
So, this is it for my friendship with this guy. On an entirely different note, I did have a couple of pretty cool network people come through for me on possible job leads, so I will see how all of that plays out.