Take Time to Make An Introduction
By Sunny K. Lurie
Recently, I was the lucky recipient of a random act of kindness when a car in front of me at a drive-through paid for my coffee.
A light went off: what if more people applied acts of kindness to the workplace — helping job seekers connect with potential employers? Having a personal introduction inside an organization is a huge advantage to career changers.
In fact, referrals are the number one source companies use to find outside hires and over 70% of people find jobs through leads from others, according to LinkedIn.
Access to the right people and companies is vital for a successful career change, especially as the market place becomes more challenging. A few moments of time connecting people to your network is a powerful act of kindness.
Many of us have made introductions in the workplace. But what I’m suggesting is to consider doing it more often and help someone gain employment and improve their life. Introductions require no money and are simple to do. Here are a few ways to do it:
1. Look for opportunities. Put up your antennae to become aware of friends, family or colleagues who are changing careers and ask if you can help and who they’d like to meet.
2. Identify their target organizations, jobs, people and industry. The more specific about who to meet and what companies the person wants to work, the better. Consider who in your network is inside a company or industry they seek. Think about business owners, professionals and first-rate companies you know. LinkedIn and Facebook friends are perfect for finding people — look through your lists and groups. Maybe you have a neighbor working at the desired target company who knows the department recruiter. The idea of “six degrees of separation” for reaching anyone on the planet is alive and well.
3. Call or email the contact to make an introduction. You’ll have more of an impact if you personally introduce the two parties rather than just supply a name. The rest is up to them. Recently, my cousin Terry was looking to leave his entry-level tech position. He made a list of 12 local organizations he liked who were hiring web developers. To avoid sending in his resume blind, he asked me and others to run his list through their network and LinkedIn contacts. It turned out Terry found connections inside three companies. One person helped Terry reach the hiring manger and he was invited to interview. Over the next couple months they brought Terry back for several interviews and eventually he was offered a job.
Try it for a month. See how many introductions you can make in the workplace and what you feel. You never know, some day when you need an introduction for your career, someone may repay your kind acts.
Sunny K. Lurie is the author of Jolt Your Career From Here to There.