Some job seekers hurt their chances of getting the help they desperately need in their search because they seem to always create drama in their efforts.
There are a number of ways it comes across, but they are always destructive to effective networking and interviewing.
There’s someone that has been contacting me recently for help in their job search that has been an example of how it should not be done.
This person knew months in advance that her job would be terminated due to a merger. She began contacting me then, seeking help in finding a new position. Her email had a panicked tone asking for help but without any specific requests. I recommended some resources and networking opportunities that were coming up.
Over the next couple of months she would call and email multiple times per week in desperation, seeking advice, asking for general help, and wanting meetings.
However, she had not attended any of the networking events or taken advantage of the resources that had been recommended to her.
As the months went on, her job ended as expected, and the emails and calls continued. Each one sounding more desperate, telling of her fear that her money will run out, expressing exasperation that others aren’t responding to her networking calls, and begging for more help.
Although I would like to help, the consistent dramatic overtone has made it clear to me that I would not refer her to other business contacts I know. I value those relationships and am not willing to impose her on them knowing that she is likely to unprofessionally pursue them as well.
While she has created more of a negative impression than the vast majority of job seekers, it’s a good idea to evaluate how you approach networking contacts as well.
...create an impression that you are depending on your contacts to do your work for you
...come across as begging and pleading for help
...ignore the advice you’re given
...miss other networking opportunities and resources
…express your frustrations and worries
…treat each person you talk to as a professional business contact
…demonstrate how you are also pursuing things on your own
…follow up with updates on how you pursued leads and advice you’ve been given
…demonstrate being pleasantly, professionally, persistent
…show professional optimism and good cheer in each contact
…respect their time
…make it clear you will handle all new contacts professionally
While people overwhelmingly would like to be helpful in some way, they also do not want to be known for referring people that are burdensome and unprofessional. How do you come across?
Even your best friend will look at you in a different light when considering introducing you to their best business contacts. Do your conversations exude professional optimism? Or are the majority of your discussions downers, full of drama, and filled with complaints?
Would you refer someone like you to your best contacts?
Look at your own attempts at reaching out from an objective point of view. Ask yourself some tough, self-evaluating questions, and make adjustments accordingly.
Drop the drama, and you’re likely to get better networking results!