I spent some time with my uncle at a family reunion over the weekend talking about his current job transition (do you know someone that is in transition?). He was telling me about the two very exciting opportunities that he is waiting to hear back from, after having numerous interviews with both companies. I asked him how he found these opportunities (supposedly he should have found them through networking – 60-80% for people like me, 95% for executives like him, right?).
He said “same as my last job – a recruiter who I didn’t know found my resume and contacted me. So much for networking, huh?“
Ya, so much for networking.
Dave Perry did a study (it took around 2 years and involved survey input from thousands of people) to determine where jobs really come from. The results, if I remember correctly, were that the higher level positions where NOT found through networking. Interesting. I can’t find the results on his website – Dave – where is that study??
So, with this statement, so much for networking, huh?, are we to just discard networking? Is there any value to this thing called networking?
I’m not ready to throw networking out the door. But I can see when people have a list of their network contacts, or a stack of business cards, and that list or stack doesn’t get them the results they hear about, that they think that networking doesn’t work. Networking is about relationships, which strengthen over time, and need nurturing. Putting my card in your stack and never contacting me is not nurturing anything. You may not need to talk to me now, and you may be really busy (aren’t we all), but you should do something so that we can have a relationship that is moving forward, and I can know who you are before you need me to know who you are.
As a side note, I’m preparing a post for LegalAndrew on networking… he is asking for one tip for 2007. And I figured it out, at some crazy hour when I should have been sleeping I figured out what the one tip that I have is! But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what my one tip is. I’ll give you a hint – its not “just do it.”
follow-up on 1/3/06: I just got an e-mail from Dave Perry with this link to his study