By Jerry Schwartz, RochesterWorks! member who landed
I wanted to share a success story with you. I landed at a local start up company. This is really the best scenario that I could have hoped for, as I was hoping to find a small company with a good culture that would challenge me intellectually and professionally.
Since I have been through a job search process many times before, I knew much of what was said at the workshops and the networking meetings, even if it was only intuitively. All of the information provided good advice. Regardless of the experience I have, I still found it all helped me enormously especially to ‘reset’ me. In the past year and a half, I have been through a layoff from a company I loved working at, left a company that turned out to be a poor fit, and let go from another company because of its corporate culture. It was very tough on me mentally and I was performing poorly at interviews that I would normally have aced. Meeting with other professionals in similar situations, reviewing the basics of job searching and interviewing helped me gain the perspective I needed.
I was able to emerge more confident, calm, and relaxed than I had been. This process made me more open to opportunities around me and able to succeed when those opportunities presented themselves. While many times a job becomes known to you through networking, sometimes it doesn’t and the basics of applying cold become more important. I found my job through an ad on Craigslist, and it was exactly the type of company that I was looking for.
It is important to remember that networking can help in many unexpected ways. For me, it was the back-channels that were used to validate me as a candidate. If I hadn’t taken the time to nurture my network, I am not so confident that I would have landed the job. After they had made their offer, I learned that in addition to references I had provided, they had contacted other people I had worked with in the past. As it turned out, they were people in my network and because I had maintained a good relationship with them, both during and post-job periods, they had put in a good word for me.
I am attempting to take my networking to the next level and continue in my efforts to network, even though I have already reached the ‘goal’ of getting a job. By maintaining contacts not only do you get to learn who else shares your professional interests but you also learn who else is out there, the person you help today may end up helping you down the road, you never know.
Finally, the last thing that I’ll say that helped was remembering to relax. It’s stressful not working; there are mortgages, kids, and spouses that all weigh heavily on your mind. There were a few weeks where, other than doing a few minor job search related activities, I simply did not do anything major that was job search related. I read a book, met a friend for ice cream, or played video games instead. Then, when I did get back to business, I was more focused and perceptive than I would have otherwise been. Thanks again to you and everyone else at RochesterWorks that were such a great and pleasant help to me these past few months. You guys do a great job!