EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

It is a true fact (as opposed to a false fact) that most people over value job leads. Perhaps I have said this before, but the real deal is networking, networking and more networking.

That said I thought it might be of interest to all of you for me to share my own personal theories as to why published job leads all seem to be out of town and/or require unusual skills.

Back in the bad old days before the Internet, job seekers here in the Northeast had the Sunday New York Times and the Tuesday Wall Street Journal to drool over. The Sunday New York Times had a lot of 2 line ads, which now based on the wisdom of my advanced years were clearly from recruiters trolling for resumes. Most likely they didn’t really have a specific job order in hand. Still, with nothing more important to do, I answered them. The comparable postings now are on the public job boards and they are every bit as worthless as the 2 line ads that preceded them.

The display ads were the fool’s gold of that era. Sometimes companies actually posted under their own names. But for the most part, the jobs that were being posted were out of town, or were vague in location.

Surprise! Even before the beginning of time itself, there has always been networking. A lot of the desirable jobs in major cities were filled before they could be posted. All that is left in Darwinian terms are the jobs that are hard to fill.

If you think about the total job market, the jobs for which you might be considered fall into only a few broad categories. First, there are the real posted jobs, some of which appear in our newsletter. Not all of them are out of town, but depending on the degree of difficulty in potentially filling them, most of them are.

Next we have jobs that are open, and step one today and in years past would be to “put the word out.” It is all so much easier today. If you need to fill a job in your industry, as an employer all you have to do is let your staff circulate it to their friends. You have all heard the expression “Birds of a feather flock together.” People in the real estate business know other people in the real estate business. People in the pharmaceutical business know other folks in the pharmaceutical business. And, so forth. It is all so much easier today that it is a wonder any jobs in major cities are published anywhere.

And finally, you have jobs that haven’t been created yet because the “hiring authority” doesn’t even know they have a problem until you walk in on a networking basis and tell them. At that point, they realize they have a problem and the solution is sitting in front of them. What do you think they do next? If you guessed “post a job on one of the public boards,” you are wrong. They just hire you.

If you think this is another of my stupid ploys to get you to do a little more networking, you have finally guessed right.

The bulk of the job market isn’t the jobs you see posted. They are only a very small fraction of the “work opportunities” that are out there for you to find.

Being in the right place at the right time doesn’t happen from pure chance. It happens from networking. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

Go ahead. Make yourself lucky. Do a little networking.

Regards, Matt

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