I hate looking for work. I mean, I really hate it.
For one thing, the one time when I’ve actively sought employment, without some sort of introduction or push from a third party, it turned out to be a disaster. Like the sinking of the Titanic, but without the survivors.
It was a marketing job in Thornhill, and I thought I would get some great skills, make some good contacts… Ha! The man who hired me was completely unable to stop talking/doing/editing/changing/drifting. I don’t mind putting in 10 hour days… but for the love of god, let there be some purpose behind it!
I wrote a newsletter for a major client that was supposed to go out in mid-September, at the latest. I re-wrote it five times to make it more timely because he could not stop dicking around with it and it eventually went out the third week of November. I quit that week. Fortunately – or maybe cleverly because I listened to my inner voice and went networking – I found a great job two weeks later because someone introduced me to someone else! See, that’s how it works for me.
But now I’m looking again. This time, however, I’m getting suggestions and places and ideas and people forwarded to me from friends & colleagues. No cold-calling. No blind responses to ads. Someone I know has to know someone/some place and then I send the c.v.
Oh, I still have to do most of the work of getting the job… sending the c.v., writing that brilliant cover letter that will get me the interview, and then being blindingly smart and charming during the interview to get me the offer. But the older I get, the more I see the way the world operates, the more I realize that friends and colleagues and other networking sorts are what make a difference.
I used to think that being good was enough… and it’s certainly needed to keep you going. But to get your foot in the door… friends. You need friends.
My brother Max, of whom I’ve written previously, is the master at this. He still counts amongst his friends the people with whom he went to public school! And he can pull people out of his hat like nobody’s business. When he worked at a Major Worldwide Technology Company, his boss & co-workers called him ‘Golden Boy’ because everything he touched turned out so freaking well. Well, GB’s secret, at least in part, was having so many friends!
On a good day, I think I have six. Maybe seven.
Okay… that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But still, starving artists, retired bank clerks and tennis umpires are not necessarily the strongest rungs on the networking ladder… Which is not to say that I’m giving up my friends. Or making new ones just to do the networking thing BUT, you know, I am on that second wave of job hunting, and I will take all your suggestions to heart.
And maybe we could become friends, too.