Today I watched part of the Arizona – Green Bay playoff game. I left to take my son outside to ride his bike and thought the game was a blowout. I noticed a friend had posted on my Facebook comment about the game that Green Bay was making a comeback so I turned the game back on. At that point I was riveted to the game, exchanging comments on Facebook as a very close game was decided in overtime. It reminded me how important in life and business it is to never give up. You will win and you will lose, learn from the mistakes and don’t let the victories make you complacent.
I’ve had a number of conversations with friends who are facing job transitions, most of them unemployed. Through this process I’ve compiled 3 things that I have done and received extremely good feedback from my friends. The purpose of this article is simple, to share a formula that you can use to help friends (or yourself!) if a jobless situation occurs. If you’d rather just listen, I have a podcast at the bottom of this post.
Step #1 Information Gathering
I ask my friends about their situation, specifically:
- What kind of work do they do.
- What kind of work would they like to do.
- Where would they like to work.
I then use that information to make constructive suggestions based on my own personal experience and the activity within my network. I also make sure that I am very supportive of them to try to embolden them to drive hard to the finish line (find a job that they will love!).
Step #2 I know this person that….
I then look at my network and think about who I know that might be able to help them. I make virtual introductions usually via Email and offer to help facilitate a connection. I’ll follow that up with another communication in a week or two and ask if they were able to connect and if that person was able to help them. The top person on my list that I refer people to is my neighbor and friend JP McDermott. JP has done a lot of outreach with people that are in these transitional situations. JP has a career coaching column at examiner.com.
Step #3 Support
Being jobless during a bad economic time with high unemployment is not a happy place to be. Step 3 for me is simple, I do everything I can to be supportive of my friend who is searching. I write encouraging comments on blog or social media posts they make, I re-tweet some of their key tweets, or I just send little follow up messages to encourage them. Mind you this is emerging opportunity, I don’t setup a schedule and I don’t do this equally with all of my friends.
You can do this, anyone can do this. I know there are jobs out there sometimes it’s just about getting the right people together. The sooner these jobs are filled with the right candidate the more quickly that company and the employee can start building an economically viable relationship. The net result is we all win. I hope you find this useful, please share your stories and tips.
While watching a video today by @garyvee today I was both validated and also inspired to write this post. Gary’s point was simple – if you want to get anywhere using social media to promote something, you have to grab it. You have to engage the people who can make a difference for whatever it is you’re interested in doing. This could be anything from getting a job at a certain company or getting a certain celebrity to wear a product you are marketing. I want to add to what Gary said in his video. We have to understand as a people that the opportunity to network has never been greater in our lifetimes and it is not only possible but it is likely that this window will diminish in the near future. I believe there are two reasons for this and I will get into both of them a little more in depth.
Reason #1 it’s the Economy
A bad economy gives you access to people in an unprecedented way. Case in point – I formed a business group in early 2009 called 1 Degree, several of the members of this group are simply people that would not have joined a group like this had their businesses been running at the typical brisk pace they had been just about every year prior. When you lose your job or customers to a bad economy, you get creative, you put yourself out there. Networking has never been more prolific than it is today, in a good way.
Reason #2 it’s the Technology
Every “new” technology is given a pass on many issues early on. Think back to the chain letters that seemingly reasonable people would forward in the early days of Email. These same people today would not even think twice about it. Or how about the early success of the Email SPAM industry, had it not worked so well people would not have continued to do it. SPAM has to be facilitated today on a huge scale to have any impact. Social networking is really no different from this. Today many people are using geo-tagging software that in essence tells the world where they are at a given moment in time. At some point in the future there will be high profile events that remind people that some privacy is a good thing and these technologies will be used much more sparingly. Or how about the prolific Facebook application posts that are already a bit of a taboo? I’ve seen a number of people create brand new accounts to avoid annoying their real life friends from the prolific wall posts of the latest Zynga game or similar Facebook application. Or how about the “50 things you don’t know about me” it’s a bit like the Facebook equivalent of a chain letter – tag 10 of your friends and post this on your wall.
So Gary is right, but we need to also encourage people to strike while the iron is hot and be prepared for the next stage of this ever evolving world. 15 years ago I forged relationships on Internet Relay Chat with a bunch of people around the US and the World that were Windows NT administrators. The dealings of this group have included quite a bit of commerce over the years and the core is all still communicating with one another. Today similar relationships are being established on Facebook, Twitter and other Social Networking related sites. There will be winners and losers but the people who do as Gary has suggested will find a way to win regardless of the circumstances. I think we all need to evaluate which technologies fit us best and pursue them for personal or commercial benefit. For me the value of the medium is much greater in terms of personal satisfaction for the friendships and inspiration but it’s nice to know that these efforts will continue to open doors for commerce. Let me know what you think. Share your story, plenty of room for your comments here.
Is there any reason you can think of to NOT make the best of every day of your life? Each conversation you have with family, friends or your spouse, work and even parenting. Today I challenged myself with that very question and I could not think of anything that stuck. I came up with excuses but I could not come up with reasons. It sounds so cliché – “Live life to the fullest” or “Carpe Diem” but you know what, those are some of the wisest words man has ever uttered.
Take an honest assessment on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 meaning horrible and 10 meaning completely dominant – how powerful would you rate your commitment to everything you do in a given day? I suspect if most people are honest with themselves it comes in well under 5, it would for me and I am at what I feel a very high level of productivity/attitude for my lifetime. Now imagine how effective you would be if you increased your commitment to everything you do in a given day 10% or 1 point on that scale. Think about your relationships with others, your children, your co-workers, your boss, or even your clients. How much of an impact would it have in those relationships if you cared more today than you did yesterday. I would be willing to theorize that for every 10% you increase that scale you would feel a very big improvement in the quality of your life, your health and the lives of people you interact with.
Today is a day that we give thanks for the bountiful harvest in our lives, much as the pilgrims and Native Americans did during a time of peace and prosperity that inspired this Thanksgiving Day ritual. For me I have an additional thing to be thankful for, awareness that I can be happier, more productive and successful in every aspect of my life by making a series of decisions to commit to excellence. Also the pride I have that these decisions will bring happiness, joy and success to the people that I care about and to people I’ve never met.