ALC Consulting

March 17, 2009

Hey! You, Sitting in the Back of the Room

Filed under: Contracting — Anne Cloward @ 10:52 pm

To the guy sitting in the back of the room at the networking meeting

Hey! You, the guy in the back, don’t think you haven’t been noticed. This post is for you. I know you are there, and I can pretty much tell what you are thinking. Want me to tell you?

You have been laid off, and nothing seems to be happening much with your job search. So, someone (you honestly can’t remember who) suggested you go to a networking meeting. You aren’t even sure what that means, but you got the contact information a few weeks ago, and decided to find out what it was all about. Networking to you means Cisco being an administrator for someone.

It wasn’t fair that you were cut. Your manager could have chosen others, but all that bull about financial collapse and such was a smokescreen for letting the really experienced guys go and getting new kids that they could pay less. But you are good at what you do, and so finding someone who values your skills should not be hard. You will be back to work soon, and all this meeting others stuff will be over.

Since this is a meeting of people who don’t have jobs, there is no reason for you to dress up. You are wearing the same clothes you have been wearing for the past few days; your jeans and a knit shirt and both are a bit frayed. There might even be signs of breakfast on your shirt. When you got here (late), you found a room full of people, so you slid into a seat in the back, thinking you could remain anonymous through the whole thing.

There was some guy up there talking, and you figured out he was a recruiter. Now that’s a waste of time for you. You don’t do recruiters. They are for temp jobs only, and you are going for permanent, full time work, and beside you don’t plan on paying anyone to find you a job. You know the way to find a job is to look out in the internet and apply, sit back and wait for the phone to ring. That’s what worked for you when you were looking eight years ago. It will work now.

And what are all these papers going around? Job opportunities and articles, it looks like. Most of the job opportunities are not your cup of tea, so you just give them a quick glance and pass them on. The articles are titled, “How to Network” and “Answering Tough Interviewing Questions.” Those must be for people who are looking and don’t know much. All the interviewer wants to know is do you know the right technical stuff? All this other advice is not relevant. Your resume lists all this anyway, so the interview is just a formality, anyway.

Now everyone has to get up and talk about himself for one minute. Huh? What good is that going to do? Besides people are sitting down and mumbling, and you can’t hear them. Every once in a while someone will say, “Talk to me after, I know someone who can help you,” or they pass out a business card.

When will this be over? You need to get home to check your inbox to see all the replies you should be getting to your online applications now. Why did you come? What good is this?

Well, Ducky, You missed the whole point of the meeting. Networking is probably the best way to find a job and you have just let a golden opportunity pass you by.

Tune in for my next post to find out how to use a networking meeting to your advantage. This is the new and improved way to find a job that is proven to work.

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