Last week, he finally found a job. You may wonder what part of his research yielded the precious information that led to his interview and subsequent hiring. Was it Linked In, Facebook, The Ladders, Twitter?
Actually, it was a baseball game.
Let me say that here in Chicago, going to a baseball game can be a greater punishment than wearing out your eyes and fingers on a social networking site. Nevertheless my friend accepted an invitation to get out of the house and attend a game with a few friends.
During the course of conversation with other guests at the event, my friend mentioned his job search. One individual perked up and asked a few questions. It turned he knew of a company with an opportunity for someone with a similar background to my friend’s. That conversation led to a phone interview within a few days of the game, followed by a face-to-face interview resulting in a job offer the following week.
I often stress the importance of personal networking, paraphrasing Zig Ziglar’s great line, “shy salesmen have skinny kids.” While online networking is important (and certainly better than watching Seinfeld marathons every afternoon), open conversations with friends, siblings, uncles, cousins, and former colleagues can often be more productive in a job search. Never underestimate the importance of your sister-in-law.
Be proactive in talking about your employment status, as uncomfortable as it may make you feel, particularly when your job search has been lengthy. Accept invitations. Initiate lunches. Meet someone for coffee. Go to ball games; even if it’s a Cubs or White Sox game.