Job, Networking

Networking… Repeat After Me

Networking. Okay, now that I’ve typed it twice, what of it?

Allow me to provide a background because it’s necessary. Boring in part but necessary. In the fall of 2008, I found out I would be laid off from a company I’d worked at for thisclose to 25 years. On the one hand, it scared the hell out of me – as it should. But on the other hand it was the best thing to have happened to me at the time. My late-husband’s cancer had reared its ugly head again three weeks prior to my layoff notice, so being laid off with a severance package meant I could be there for him throughout the treatment process.

I took advantage also of the opportunity that presented itself so blatantly – I could go to school. I could learn something new and different from what my career had provided me, while still being available for my late-husband. I signed up for a Medical Office Assistant Program at a community college downtown.

I loved it, every single, solitary second over those next 24 months. Even when the slouchy students with pants hanging down to their arses would say they only “gots to get D’s to pass” or when students goofed around in class on their computers in FB and other social media sites, even with all of that and more, I dug it. I even dug it when things got incredibly tough with Frank and his illness, going to school afforded me a way to recharge even if only briefly. The semester he died (he passed away 2/28/2010), I actually made the Dean’s list. Imagine that? He was the one who always told me to “Go to war!” everytime I had a test. And I did, clearly.

Then in December of 2010 I graduated with grades much higher than D’s (3.78 GPA). I gave myself until March 2011 before I started seriously thinking about finding a job. I’d been running on adrenaline since Frank’s diagnosis, being there for him during treatment, grieving his passing and I’d been attending school almost full-time for 24 months – I needed to get my ducks in a row, as they say.

Since I started looking for a job I’ve submitted probably just about 100 resumes. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Well, here’s the kicker. Why should I submit a resume just for the sake of submitting a resume?? Submitting resumes takes time, peeps, a lot of time in some cases. I have spent the better part of two hours in the past submitting a resume. And you know what? Out of the nearly 100 resumes I’ve submitted, how many interviews have I had?

Three 3 Trois Tres

That’s not enough for me to keep wanting to submit more.

So – networking. That’s the solution. Perhaps not for everyone but it clearly has helped for me. I stayed in contact with quite a few people from my past, some on that dreaded social media site, FB, and some via email and even a handful live and in person.

Over the last two months I’ve reached out to friends, reminding them that I’m still looking for a job and to keep me in mind if they see a job they feel would be appropriate for me.

Last weekend a bus buddy of mine got a hold of me and said there was an opportunity at his company for something I would be perfect for. He even offered to tailor my resume for the particular position. It was astonishing to me that someone would be willing to do something like that for me. He’s a busy guy, he works oodles of hours and yet he was willing to do this? I agreed. I’m not stupid, remember, I gots better than D’s in school. I was ready to prove it.

A couple of days later I got a phone call from the company asking if we could set up an interview. The next day – less than 24 hours later – I am in interview one of two. That went fabulously and it felt more like a simple conversation, we both were relaxed and seemed to be getting along wonderfully. Then I had interview two and it too, was a great experience.

I got home around 11:40 am and about an hour later I get a call.

I got the job.

How?

Networking.

Repeat after me…

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