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Develop "Friendships" Instead of "Contacts"

I recently came across an article titled “Is This Why You Are Still Unemployed?“, which lists several insightful reasons as to why many people have trouble finding a job. The author talks about referrals, which leads to a point-of-view I encourage my career coaching clients to take on: developing “friendships” when networking instead of “contacts.” After all, you already have one thing in common – similar career experiences and professional interest!

If you are creating new friendships with people in the know in your industry (not to mention in a position of influence), you should be encouraged by the fact that good friends often help each other. If you have connected in a personal way, communicated well and most importantly what you value in your life and career, then most likely you have set the stage for magic to happen.

For example:

  • The new friend might starting seeing how you could do a better job than someone else currently on their team.
  • By knowing you personally, the new friend could see what current problems you might be able to solve for them that no one else can, resulting in a shuffle of job duties.
  • The new friend might be expanding the team and need you right away or know of another company that’s looking for good talent.

Job seekers too often put too much stress on “networking”when they are simply creating and developing new friendships. What true friend wouldn’t help out another?