A networking success story

On occasion I’ll write an entry about people who have landed. I sheepishly admit that what you read below was written 100% by one of my former customers, who acts as  a LinkedIn profile sample for my LinkedIn workshops. Howie, a former member of our career center, has been a true networker, and I imagine he’ll continue to network, because he embraces networking and realizes there are no constants in life. Below is his story:

I am thoroughly thrilled to be writing the next 10 words: I have landed a great direct job in my field.

When I was laid off, I figured I’d be rehired in a matter of months. That was in August of 2008. Weeks later the economy tanked. If this was an old movie, we’d dramatically indicate the passage of time by showing a wall calendar, with the daily pages flying away in the wind, although in this case, you’d have enough time to go and make a sandwich.

I got my first contracting gig ever in September 2010, working for several months on a 1099 basis with a former associate who needed additional help with a contract Project Management job he was working on. This was successfully accomplished through networking.

In February 2011, I landed a 6-month, W2, contract Program Management position. I landed it purely through networking as well. If “Kate,” a networking buddy, had not gone to choir practice one Wednesday night, I would not have even known the job existed. I posted that landing story at the time, with the subject “A solid touchdown.”

I began networking before the word “network” meant anything other than communications infrastructure between computers and telecom equipment. My oft-repeated definition of networking (some would say, “too oft”) is that is it what you do to maximize blind, dumb luck. I have seen the networking concept of “the more you give, the more you get,” been proven over and over again.

I have done it, and you can too.

Back in mid-November, 2011, a networking friend emailed me, saying, “I’m starting to hear of potential openings in program management here…I was just wondering if you would like to talk/entertain the idea?” Right. I’ve heard so many, “We’d love to hire you, but we have this hiring freeze now…” that my résumé  was getting frostbite.

But we did stay in touch, as I was stepping up my job search, and things started coming together. I went through several rounds of interviews in December. I received the offer to be a senior-level Program Manager for the company’s flagship product in early February, followed by the usual screenings. We set my start date so I could work out a good transition plan at my then-current job. I started on March 5.

I’ll say it again ­ I’m thrilled.

Networking works. I didn’t do anything beyond being a good networker, staying positive, staying active, maintaining my tech sills, reasonably expanding my own network of people both through tools like LinkedIn, and more importantly, by getting out there and meeting people whom I could help and who might also help me. It’s never too late to start, and it’s never time to stop. Perhaps we’ll meet at a networking or professional meeting or on-line sometime soon. Feel free to let me know how I can be helpful to you. In the words of Jean Shepherd, “It’s all based on hope.”

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