New Blog Post
Published November 18, 2009
Introducing Networking for the Novice, Nervous, or Naïve Job Seeker My name is Tom Dezell and I have spent more than twenty-five years in the field of career development. Far fetched as it initially seems, I began my career with a Criminal Justice degree and spent my formative years as a caseworker in work release facilities. My first career coaching involved preparing offenders to convince employers that a felony conviction should not exclude them from job consideration. After attaining success in this field, I moved on to assist welfare recipients and injured workers in job development. (Believe it or not, of the three populations, the felons were the easiest to place.) I currently work as a Career Advisor at Maryland’s Professional Outplacement Assistance Center (POAC). The only state run program of its kind in the nation, POAC provides career services to professional, executive, technical and managerial job seekers. This gives me the unique perspective of assisting job seekers ranging from convicted felons to C-level executives. It has also taught me that no matter what level of the job seeker, all are vulnerable to similar flawed job search strategies. Years of watching one particular flaw stall hundreds of job searches gave me the impetus to write the book. One can not read too far into the topic of job search without discovering the statistics regarding how few job openings become advertised; maximum of 20%. Additionally, it won’t take long to discover that the most common way jobs are filled is through networking; numbers range from 50 to 80% depending on the study. Despite these realities, most job seekers will quickly admit that networking is the strategy that causes them the most difficulty, and they tend to avoid it. Unfortunately, the advent of Internet job search boards makes this easier. With more than 100,000 employment-related site to choose from, a job seeker can easily delude oneself into the notion that spending 50+ hours a week on the Internet makes for an effective job search. Yes, you’re working hard, but I can’t say you’re working smart. My book focuses on why job seekers avoid networking. Simply put, people fear it. Reaching out to others frightens many people in many situations. Doing so in a job search becomes even more difficult due to how vulnerable we often feel in that process. I challenge the reader to confront their fear and attack the common misconceptions (or excuses) about networking that people use to avoid it. I also stress how networking makes one a stronger candidate and outline strategies to improve networking. Experience often provides the best teaching. I use stories of experiences job seekers I have worked with throughout my career to illustrate key points. I want to encourage readers to share their experiences on how networking landed them a job. Go to http://www.yournetworkingguide.com , click on firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experience. Tom Dezell Committed to improving Networking skills for the Novice, Nervous or Naive Job Seeker.