My landing story begins and ends with networking.
In addition to networking at PSGCNJ, I became a serial networker, attending several meetings each week, from Union to Essex to Morris counties. I followed up with other networkers over coffee to dive more deeply into our respective career ambitions.
Now for the particulars: I actually had two offers 24 hours apart.
The first offer was the result of a networking connection. We had both worked at ad agencies in Manhattan earlier in our careers. My friend and I e-mailed each other with opportunities we thought were right for each other over the six months in
transition. He contacted me regarding an opportunity with the Manhattan newspaper, The New York Observer. Had I never met this person through networking, I would never have known about the job.
I also accepted the other opportunity as an ad sales rep with Summit Business Media, a Manhattan publishing company that produces trade books for the financial community.
The day before my interview, I checked out their hiring manager on LinkedIn to get a frame of reference and gain some insight into his background. I noticed that I was only a second connection to him, linked by someone I befriended at PSGCNJ in Somerville.
Without my asking, this PSGCNJ friend sent an e-mail on my behalf, touting my character and ability to build relationships (important for a sales rep), among other nice things.
When I was passed to the Executive Vice President for the last round of interviews, he also knew my PSGCNJ contact. I am sure that this strong referral – from someone they know, like and trust – went a long way. Obviously, networking paid off.
The most important thing I gained from the networking and coffee meetings was a lot of very good friends that I will continue to see again. They provided helpful hand in their own special way and made my transition easier to manage. And in the end, it helped land a good job. If you perceive networking as a way to make a new friend, rather than someone who is going to get you a job, you will build a strong group of people who will be willing to assist in your quest.
I wish you all a speedy landing and happiness in the New Year.