Be Careful What You Ask For you May Get Exactly The Opposite

There's an old saying in philanthropy that says "If you ask for money, you get advice. If you ask for advice, you get money."

I think it's similar when you're networking during your job hunt: "If you ask for a job as you network, you get advice. If you ask for advice as you network, you get a job."

Old suggestions say "Do 'informational interviews' and bring your resume, and be sure to talk about JOBS and POSITIONS with the contact." I've seen people do that and they don't get good jobs, they get advice and a well-intentioned "I'll keep you in mind". Which ends things with that contact.

What I recommend to job hunters, if they truly want to find a good job, is instead to leave the resume at home and make connections who can give you advice. Meet with them -- don't just talk on the phone --and make it a conversation about the field, the work, and how you love doing that work. Ask your contact about them and what they enjoy about the field. Focus on them, and they'll show more interest in you. In short, they'll get to know what you have to offer. Result: they'll feel confident sending you on to others in their network. Those "others" have the jobs.

Stay tuned for a networking seminar in August that focuses on this principle. We'll put the word out as the date gets closer.


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