Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Networking & Root Canals

Maybe I'm just crazy or am missing something along the way (which if you asked my wife she would say "what do you mean 'maybe'?) but even after roaming around the career management space for all these years, I still hear people (i.e. most) who are interested in making a change say they plan to "work with a recruiter" or use a job board and these are the major strategies that are going to get them to their career goals.

And I hear it so much that I wonder how the heck it is that most of us got to where we are. Indeed, when I'm talking to members about stuff like this, especially when they are lamenting over the fact that they answer ads and never hear anything, or call recruiters and get no call backs, or generally don't understand why the world is not beating a path to their door, I often will ask them "tell me something, how did you get the job you have now or jobs that you have had in the past?" I haven't kept score over the years, but my finger in the wind survey tells me that probably at least 75% of the time, the answer comes back "oh, I got it through networking."

As I said, I don't keep score when I'm on the phone or just talking with someone at a meeting, but we do keep score when we hear from members when they come back and tell us they have made a change, and have been keeping score for several years. Interestingly enough, the number turns out to be 70%, and interestingly enough, that number doesn't seem to change very much no matter what the economy is at the time.

All that being said, we still can't deny that we live in an instant gratification society, and the more technology advances, one that on many levels becomes even less and less personal and requires more investment in hardware and software than in building real relationships.

This is in no way intended to be a rant against the "social networking space" indeed, there is no question that technology has made electronic networking easy and in many cases very productive on many levels.

Should be interesting as we follow the continuing evolution of "social networking" to see if and when it becomes the 21st century's version of "personal networking" as in people's willingness to put their personal reputations on the line.

Am I just splitting hairs, or is there a difference between "social" and "personal"?


GregDC said...

Networking and Root Canals -- that is not a bad pairing up for me. I have never had a moderate success at social networking, and I have little success with self-administered root canal. -grin-

OK, I currently find myself in a brand new part of the country due to my wife wisely deciding that her folks weren't going to move close to us and they would soon need our assistance. So we move from Western suburbs of Chicago to the West-Central coast of Florida (90 north of Tampa). I am a Business/Technical Manager. I am very good at what I do. But the skill that I lack is the ability to find business people with which I can "socialize" that need my talent.

So I am thinking of taking up root canal self-taught. It may be easier.

Dave Opton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Opton said...


As they say, "don't feel like the Lone Ranger." You are hardly by yourself in terms of your feelings. This is one of the reasons we have networking meetings which if you haven't had a chance to attend one; I would urge you to do so. The meetings are open on anyone, so you need not be a member of ExecuNet to attend. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a very "safe" (i.e. no risk) and professionally facilitated venue for executives to expand their personal and professional networks.

We have meetings in Tampa (next one is 1/12) and will be starting in Orlando in Feb. or Mar.

In addition, if you are a member with us, you can also do a great deal of networking online both locally and nationally.

If you are a member and are not familiar with these opportunities, just give us as call at 800-637-3126 and anyone of us who picks up will be more than happy to get you up to speed......and you won't need anything for the pain. :)

GregDC said...


Thank you for your words of encouragement. I find the Florida Business/Tech market a big change from the greater Chicago market.

I will try to make the 1/12 meeting in Tampa. It will be good to see and hear from some professionals in the area.