Networking is Key to Your Successful Career
A few months back I got an email complimenting me on my writing style. I researched the email in my database to find out who it was. Most likely someone writing to butter me up just prior to submitting a resume, but hey, I’m a sucker for compliments, especially on my newsletter which I put a lot of time and thought into.
The email address belongs to an Armon Mills; I have 4 Armon Mills in my database, one of whom is President of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, another who is Publisher of the San Jose Business Journal. Also in my database is Armon Mills, Managing Partner of Shilling and Kenyon, a Top 25 Silicon Valley CPA firm and still another is President and Publisher of Silicon Valley Business Ink. I called to find out which Armon Mills this guy is or perhaps was he doing his best George Foreman imitation, naming all his sons in his same name.
Turns out that the same guy has been all of the above at different points in his career! He says he reads my email every month and enjoys it, a nice ego boost for me, especially coming from someone so successful in the publishing business. I signed up for a subscription to his Silicon Valley Business Ink and have enjoyed it more than any other publication since Upside Magazine.
Armon said when I met him for breakfast recently that he’d send a free copy of his weekly to any friend of mine. You can send him an email with your physical mailing address for your free sample issue by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone once said readers are leaders and the rest of us will work for them.
I’m writing an article soon to appear in Armon’s paper on the job market in Silicon Valley. The job market is making a very mild comeback. If we measure the peak of the dotcom boom as, say, a 100-mile-an-hour job market and the months following 9-11 as 3 miles hour (which, by the way, would be a generous estimate), I would say that the current job market is traveling at about 15 miles per hour. Pretty anemic but 5 times better than what we have had. At least we’re moving.
People are still struggling to find work, some 76,900 people in Santa Clara County alone according to a recent article by Margaret Steen, staff writer at the San Jose Mercury News who says that 63% of people find their jobs through networking. It’s a good article here’s a link to it if you want to read it.
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Last July when the poop started really hitting the blades of the fan and the layoffs started coming through in record numbers, I started getting a huge wave of laid-off folks calling me and sending me their resumes.
I too believe often the most successful job hunt starts with re-energizing your networking efforts. I referred a dozen or so CFO’s to my friend Bob MacIntosh, CEO of PIER 39, who is a longtime member of the Financial Executives International in a space of two weeks. Then the floodgates opened and I must have told 50 people to call or email Bob and invite themselves to an FEI event. Months later I thanked Bob for receiving all of those many calls during the huge layoffs that followed 9-11. Bob said and I quote, “I don’t know what you’re talking about Joe. I only heard from 5 or 6 people.” I said, “You’ve absolutely got to be kidding me. I tell everybody you gotta network like crazy and your first call is to Bob MacIntosh @ PIER 39 to invite yourself to a FEI meeting.” Bob says, “Well Joe, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” Still stunned, I asked my friend Sharon Gadberry, one of the Most Influential Women in San Francisco according to the San Francisco Business Times and an icon in the outplacement business for 30 years, if she could believe it. She said she wasn’t surprised at all. Finance people are always the worst at networking. “Why do you think that is?” I asked her. She wasn’t sure why, but she was sure. “Sales and marketing folk are natural networkers. They are always going to some meeting or another, too many I think. I’d get sick of going to all those meetings all the time,” she said.
Ask Bob the role networking played in his career and the story of how he rose from Accountant to CFO and now CEO of PIER 39. Ask Scott Angel, Deloitte & Touche Partner and past President of the Churchill Club. Here’s my interview with him. (See “The Network”, vol #6)
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Networking is key to your successful career. For great insight on networking read Harvey MacKay’s great book, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty.” Or Richard Beatty’s fine work, “Job Search Networking.” If you’re job searching, networking is mandatory, but the best time to build your network is while you’re employed. So start right now. There is great power that comes from doing things now. Abraham Lincoln said, “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” The next link leads you to a hodgepodge list our research department put together of some of the top networking organizations in the Bay Area. Let me know which networking group you decided to join and I darn well better hear from more than just 5 or 6 of you. Sheesh!
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By the way, we are going back to my newsletter’s original name, “The Network.” I will co-brand it for many months to come as “Joseph Michaels International Update” so you know what you’re getting when the email comes in. With “The Network” I don’t have to feel pressured to write an issue just because it’s a new month, plus the ad agency likes the sound of this, “Do You Get The Net?” Pretty catchy, huh? If things go according to plan, next issue’s gonna have a whole new look. I hope you like it, big changes in store.
Remember, (here’s another good one from the Ad agency) “If You’re Thinking of Hiring, Think Joseph Michaels International”
Warm Summer Regards,
Joe Pelayo, C.P.C.
Joseph Michaels International
Global Recruiting Solutions
One of the top 75 Recruiters in the United States ~ Recruiter Life Magazine