Networking —a much maligned term but an essential behavior for identifying job opportunities—can be easy when it works the way it is intended. Vanessa L, a former Creative Director of mine from my days at J & J, is a success story for those trying to learn the ropes.
Even though Vanessa and I haven’t worked together in over 20 years, we have stayed in touch. Recently, we grabbed a cup of tea together and she filled me in on her husband’s new job at Boston University and the desire to join him there. A week later, I read a posting for a job opening for a Boston-based creative director. This posting was sent by a member of MENG (Marketing Executives Networking Group), an organization that I belong to for senior-level marketing professionals. One of the benefits of belonging to MENG is that members post positions before the rest of the world sees them.
I sent the author, Michael Westcott, an email introducing him to Vanessa: “wicked smart” (as they would say in Boston), funny, strategic and a good egg. Her creative helped my business become the dominant market leader. Michael kindly spoke with Vanessa and introduced her to someone else in Boston who connected her with what is soon to be her new boss at a hot advertising agency in Beantown. Vanessa didn’t ask me for anything. She just shared her situation. I kept my antennae up and offered to help. Michael contributed to his marketing executive community by sharing a job opening and was responsive to candidates. The company and candidate did the dance and decided to marry. When I wrote Michael (whom I have never met, by the way) to say thank you, he mentioned that, strangely enough, he too is moving back to Boston for family reasons. In the spirit of what goes around, hopefully comes around, if you know anyone who needs help defining and building brand relationships, please email Michael Westcott at firstname.lastname@example.org. Michael didn’t ask for my help. He didn’t need to. Thanks for keeping the karma going.
For more on networking to find that perfect job, read about how one college alum’s connections helped her get through a bout of unemployment. In need of a humorous take on things? Check out Greg’s take on the Kevin Bacon theory.