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It’s Not What You Know, but Who You Know

 “He only landed the job because he knew someone who knew the owner.”  While “who you know” gave him the upper-hand in getting an interview, he would not have been hired if he did not have the skills. It is likely other people had similar job skills, but because he networked effectively, others were not awarded an opportunity to even apply.  Connections through networking are no accident.

Networking takes thought, planning, and diligence. For people to stick to a networking plan, it requires discipline. It is a long-term project.  However, you too can be awarded that lucrative position over someone else if you do your networking homework in addition to enhancing your day to day job skills.

 While your professional expertise matters, the people you know matter almost as much because your friends can fast-track you into interviewing opportunities ahead of your competition. From professionals to the construction supervisors, opportunities are available for networking.  You only have to find them, plan the work, and work the plan.  Your rewards can easily be doubled through networking with the right people. And if you look, you can find them.  Good Luck!

Friends Account for Much of Your Success

While at a local coffee shop, I ran across an article by James Altucher, a well-known blogger that has achieved a high level of success. Someone asked him, “What took you the longest in your life to understand?” His response was, “I don’t know if I understand anything in my life. Every day I learn something where I say to myself, “why didn’t I learn that before?”

After some thought, he said “it took me the longest to understand that our ability to survive, to be calm, to even be happy, to possibly be successful, stems entirely from the quality of the people you surround yourself with. Surround yourself with creative, smart, good, honest people and good things will happen.” 

After a few thoughtful moments, I started considering my own “surroundings.” Looking from the outside in, I wondered what does my circle of friends say about me? What do they bring to the table and what do I bring to them? One of my biggest joys has been helping friends succeed.  Looking back at my life, I realize my greatest successes came with the addition of new friends! 

James mentioned numerous examples of famous people that became successful, both in their personal lives and in their careers, who owed much to the quality of people around them. Each of us picks and chooses who those people are within our circles.  Is your circle supportive? Do they challenge you? Are you listening?

He went on to describe a venture where success eluded him and from that circle of friends, there was no synergy – ever.  If your circle is not positively charged, it is time to change your environment.  When people with positive energy are around each other, more energy is created. If you’ve had one bad experience after another, it is time for self-examination.  Learn from it, get over it and move on.  

Inspirational people are rarely aware of their influence, but that’s what friends do for you.  Ideas are traded and nurtured through friendships. If this is missing in your life, improve your surroundings.

Cultivating new relationships outside your present circle means you must do something different. It’s not always easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.  The rewards have a life-changing effect on your personal life,  your job, your career. Are you ready?

Though I have never met James Altucher, I feel like I have a new friend. He has helped open my eyes.  

What You Don’t Know About Interviews

With technology what it is today, you may have been interviewed for a job without even knowing it. On top of that, there are several types of interviews.  Each interviewing method is used for a different purpose.

Online Detective Work

Human resource receives an interesting resume.  One of the first “checks” or unofficial job interviews will likely be conducted over the internet.  They Google your name for any news, look for you on FaceBook to see what you say/do/think/post, and use other sites like LinkedIn in order to confirm your persona and information matches the resume in hand. It’s a social media background check. You will likely never know they have done this online detective work.  If your online presence looks and acts professional, you would progress to job interview number two, a telephone interview.

Why Phone Interviews? 

Phone interviews allow management to evaluate your phone manners, level of communication skills, maturity and professionalism as they might relate to their job opening.  What it does not afford the interviewer is feedback through “body language.” Assuming you make it past the phone interview, body language and personal appearance are graded later during personal meetings. 

Second or Third Interviews

Never assume the previous interviewer has shared any of your info with these new interviewers. They rarely do. Whatever information they shared, at best it will only be a quick summary of what their interest level is in you. Treat each contact as your first contact with that company.  Assume nothing of value was shared with this new person.

To Enhance Your Image, Start Now

Most job seekers only place importance on the in-person interview. That’s a huge mistake. Be aware that is not likely the first research the company has done on you. If necessary, get your online persona cleaned-up before starting your job hunt.  Additionally, even if using an employment agency, dress appropriately for the job because if that recruiter does not feel you are serious, you will be looked over.  Bottom line, you must be prepared for every type of contact whether are you notified in advance or not.  It is a new world out there!