Last week I got a call from an old work friend. He wanted to have lunch. He just left a position and was in transition. Not a bad or negative job loss, just parted ways. When you get to a certain executive point in your career, it’s rare that bad terminations take place. It’s usually, “hey, we like you, but we really want to go another direction, and we know you don’t want to go that direction, so let’s just shake hands and call it a day, here’s a big fat check.”
Executives get this. For the most part, there aren’t hard feelings, like when you were young and lost a job. I usually find that the organization the person is leaving from are super complimentary, and usually takes the blame for the change. Executives in corporate America are like NFL coaches. You get hired with the understanding that one day you’ll be fired. It’s not that you know less, or aren’t going to be successful in your career, it’s just that the organization needs change, and you’re part of that change.
Welcome to the show, kid.
My friend decided that he was going to find his next position not through posting for positions online, or trolling corporate career pages, he was going to have lunches. About two per week, with past work friends. Let’s connect, no pressure, we already know each other and I want to catch up.
You see, in 2019 you don’t find great jobs by filling out applications in ATSs and uploading your resume to Indeed. You get great jobs because of the relationships and personal capital you’ve built up over your career. Having lunch and reconnecting turn on a relationship machine. I believe that people, innately, want to help other people. When a friend comes to you with a situation, and you have something to offer or help, you will do that.
The problem is most people who are looking for great jobs don’t do this. They lock themselves in their home office and apply to a thousand jobs online and get upset when nothing happens. Great jobs aren’t filled by ATSs and corporate recruiters. Great jobs are filled through relationships. Every single one of them.
Want to find a great job in 2019?
Go out to lunch.
Building relationships BEFORE you need your next job is important, too.
You’ll need to make sure your lunches are with people who can be your boss and are not peers, if you expect this strategy to work. Peers can refer you to openings, but they generally can’t hire you.
Tim, I couldn’t agree more. And in my opinion it was the same in 1989, just like it is 2019.