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Why I Network

Posted in Career Advice

Several years ago I had the best job! I loved the company. I loved the folks I worked with. I loved what I was doing. I was planning on spending the rest of my career at this place.

Then, for business reasons, this company decided to move it’s headquarter to another city. I was invited to move with the company but we had just bought a house near my aging parents and had roots in the community.

The company was very good to me. They gave me a big bonus to stick around while they closed our office and a very generous severance. But here I was with a new house (and mortgage), growing our family, taking care of our parents – and no job prospect…

It was a scary time. I was having nightmares that I wouldn’t be able to find a job before the severance money ran out and loose our house and be living on the streets with our young family. OK – that may be exaggerating but these are things that go through your mind when you need to pay a mortgage and provide for your family.

I decided then that I never wanted to be in that situation again. I never wanted to put my family and the people that I was responsible for in that kind of jeopardy. This is what inspired me to get to know everyone in our user experience community. I wanted to know everyone and their companies and I wanted them to know me. I wanted to know who loved their company, their coworkers, and their job – because that is where I wanted to work. I wanted them to know me, too, so if my resume came across their desk they would say “oh yeah, I know Sean – he was at the last meeting – seems like a decent guy. Let’s bring him in for an interview.”

Now I am known as the guy in town who knows everyone and the guy you should know. And though I’ve changed jobs a few times since those earlier years, it has been pretty easy for me because I know most of the folks in our user experience community and they know me.

One Comment

  1. Sean,

    Your message is especially crucial in these recessionary times. I’d like to recommend a book that everyone that’s serious about staying ahead of the curve in the job market should buy and study. It’s called “Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In the Door” by Harvey MacKay.

    Armond Mehrabian, PMP, CSM
    Senior Consultant, Portofino Solutions, Inc.

    April 4, 2010

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