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Matt's Editorials: Sailing is a Metaphor for Life

Reasons for inaction

Labor Day is just around the corner. And, summer is just about over.

There are, unfortunately, all kinds of events and holidays during the calendar year that can cause us to delay addressing our job search, and I thought I would use the “idea” of these dates as a prime example of the inaction it can cause in all of us, myself included.

I think the fear that grips us is one of offending those we call. During the summer we can be calling networking contacts just before they are leaving on vacation or, just as bad, when they have just returned.

We can be calling when folks are trying to leave early for holiday events or, as noted above, when they are just returning and still buried.

The truth is that just as there is no good time to be unemployed, there is also no perfect time to write or call networking contacts. All times have good and bad possibilities. Are you calling too early in the day or too late in the day? Are you calling too early in the week or too late in the week?

In actual fact, you really can’t win. You are asking someone to TAKE time out of their day to help when there is no obvious reward in it for them. So, you just have to take your best shot and accept the fact that there is no totally convenient time.

Listening carefully if you are calling ANYONE is important. If they sound harried, they may well be. Asking “Is this a good time?” or “Do you have a few minutes to talk?” is an appropriate question. It may not be a good time. If it isn’t, you have created an opening to reschedule.

What I suggest is not a good approach is putting off until basically NEVER making the contact.

They have a job to do, but so do you.

Of all of the possible ways to find gainful employment, contacting other human beings has over time proven to be the best approach. Government studies have proven this time and time again. (I guess I should tell you that this is a family joke I always use when I have no proof. I’m afraid you will have to trust me on this one.)

The perfect time to call or write is RIGHT NOW. So have at it. Get to it. And, don’t put it off until some mystical “perfect” time. It doesn’t exist.

Regards, Matt

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