As part of our series on Networking, we asked you to share your networking success stories on our Facebook wall for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. While there were many great ones, several stuck from the crowd as testimonials to the power of networking.
Our Favorite Networking Success Stories
Rita W’s story:
5 years ago some of my co-workers were laid off but we promised to stay in touch. Several times a year we have dinner. This February I was laid off after 30 years with my company. Most of them are contracting and gave me their recruiting company name and encouraged me to contact their recruiters and send them my résumé. One of them paid off and by the following month I had a position and then as that contract was coming to an end another one provided a reference and I now have my dream job working at home. I find that some people are embarrassed to say they are looking for a job but others can’t help if they do not know! Network, network, network.
Todd J’s story:
I worked for a company that went under shortly after 9/11. Tough times in the workplace for certain! A Yahoo group was formed, and the word went out for everyone to join and keep in touch! A guy I had worked with who mainly a software test person, had somehow found himself doing IT work at local hospital, posted to the group he was unhappy and wanted to get back to software testing and did anyone know of anything?
I posted back to let me know when he got the job he wanted and I’d take the one he had! So, a couple weeks later, I get an email on a Tues, he says send your resume now, I’m leaving at the end of the week! I sent it on Weds, had the interview on Thurs., got offered the job on Fri. and started on Mon.
Hows that for a story? And absolutely true. I can even prove it, the group still exists!
Bobbie W’s story:
Some 65% of all jobs never make it as far as an ad. Without networking, we limit the probability of success. With a few exceptions, almost every job I’ve had is the result of good networking. I teach an employment skills class at a local recovery center. A piece of advice I always give: make a plan, include networking as part of your plan, and don’t let your own fear (ego) get in the way of creating your network. And if you’re not looking for a job, be a conduit for others. If you open yourself up to others, you don’t have to find them; they’ll find you. “The person I am destined to be is the person I decide to be.” Don’t be afraid to fly.
Laura C’s story:
So the company I was working for was purchased and they let a number of people go. I was lucky enough to be able to relax for a couple of weeks before starting the job search. Within a week of starting the process, a contact I’ve had for a couple of years (we’ve never worked together but we’re in the same circles) forwarded me an opportunity that led to me getting a very nice contract gig while figuring out my next move. Having a strong network is invaluable. I actually give a presentation to students at a trade school near where I live discussing that exact topic. In my experience offering help without expecting anything in return has been the one thing that has helped me more than anything both professionally and personally. Few people realize the impact simply offering help has and it doesn’t matter how big or small the task is.
Josh D’s story:
My first job out of college was with a recruiting firm that one of my best friends worked at. I used the skills I learned in that job to place myself in an IT role. I was with my second company for almost eight years, and made a move with a huge promotion to a third company because of a fellow recruiter that I had kept in contact for years. I was at that job as a contractor for two years and found two other positions by networking with the same recruiter. From there, I moved to a company where I knew a developer from the church I had attended for several years. And from there, I am with my current employer, where I have been for four years through keeping in contact with a friend of a colleague. Without networking, I wouldn’t have had any of the jobs I’ve mentioned over the past 17 years. Making friends and influencing people is the key to success. Never burn a bridge, and always leave a positive impression.
Joel D’s story:
I owe my career to Networking. without it, I wouldn’t have gotten my Field Technician job at Hewlett-Packard. I also wouldn’t have those networking opportunities if I hadn’t gained experience through my contract job to 3M’s printer support team, for which I was thankful to be contracted through Modis. I’m not sure the old adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is really true, as my work experience was also crucial. But knowing people and making those connections put me in the right place at the right time to attain what I consider now my dream job.
And Eric J. told our winning story:
My father suggested I reach out to the son of long time friends on LinkedIn. I did and based on a contact he knew, I had a 90 minute face to face with the CEO and CTO of a $10M IT Services company within 5 days. When the CEO asked me how I found him I said from a friend of my father who I don’t know at all. The CEO chuckled and said “I don’t know him either, kudos on your tenacity.” Don’t be shy! Reach out. Talk to people. One never knows where it will lead.