20 October, 2012

Networking for a job

I have been fascinated with this subject for some time, by which I mean that I am on LinkedIn and I encourage the unemployed people I work with to apply speculatively for work, but it wasn't really until an article in TES gave me a name, Julia Hobsbawm, that I started getting hooked.

So to find a job what have I learned?
  • Your approach has to relate to where you are aiming to go. There is no point searching for a job at a particular company by reading  the paper every week and hoping they have advertised. Broadcast search for more general positions (job search engines, trade press or agencies) and
  • Identify people you know who are well connected. For example, using touchgraph.net to analyse your Facebook friends.
  • The people who are most likely to help you find a job are not the one's who know you best, make sure all your contacts are working on your behalf.
  • Ask to try a shift in a job sector you're interested in, just to see if you like it!
  • Ask for advice from people who you know are knowledgeable or successful in their field.
  • Try mixing in new social circles, try a different walk to the shops, a hobby or an evening class. You never know who you could meet by steeping a little out of your comfort zone!
  • You need to get ahead of everyone else and in the back door, if possible, by getting to know the key people. Even if they are moral people who believe in fair recruitment processes to give everyone a chance, they will make their minds up about their opinion of potential recruits within moments of meeting them. You can get ahead of this by making contact when they are not in a recruitment context.

Julia Hobsbawm is a professor of Networking (daughter of Eric Hobsbawm, the eminent British Marxist Historian, who passed away in the last few months). She may be the only professor of Networking, as it did seem to cause a stir in the media, though, this may simply be due to her also being a professional in the world of PR. I downloaded an mp3 of her inaugural speech, which named dropped a few further leads: Mark Granovetter and Angelo Barabasi amongst others.

Julia Hobsbawm's inaugural speech in full: http://traffic.libsyn.com/ei/julia_hobsbawm_lecture.mp3

Malcolm Gladwell writes in a highly accessible style on a range of topics from, to the benefits of coffee and tea. He uses a lot of anecdotes to provide context tot he theories he is promoting.
There are loads of fascinating articles on his website, and his books are easy to find.

After Gladwell's book Outliers was published about the attributes of highly successful people, Bill Gates apparently disagreed that his success was as attributable to the 10,000+ hours of work he'd put in to get Microsoft up and running, as to the setbacks he'd overcome in his career.

No comments: