When Mother Nature bestows upon us great tidings of snow dropped by an epic New England Nor’easter, these words are like spun gold. In a time of need, it always helps to know someone – like a plow guy – and know them well. If you have ever tried to get a plow guy (or gal) on the phone during a major snow storm, you know what we mean –if you do not have an ongoing relationship, it is like you do not exist. Particularly in times of need, it all boils down to relationships. Remember that time you gave him a six pack or a few dollars’ tip? He does. Remember that time you were late on a payment and he had to send three invoices? No? He definitely does. And as he drives by and watches you shovel your way out of a 4-foot snowbank, he may even smile just a little bit as he ignores your calls.
Long story short: It is good to have friends.
Job Searching and the art of being (and staying) employed is no different. Your relationships matter. You may think that your behaviors toward people you do not know or rarely come across at work do not really mean much in the grand scheme of things – but indeed they do! There will come a time when you may just end up on the other side of an interview with someone you have no recollection of meeting – but they remember you – especially if you were rude or pushy in a meeting. Hopefully, this is not the case, and they have a positive memory of interacting with you which will serve you well in your discussions. Your behaviors matter.
The moral of the story is simple: treat everyone in your professional life as you would want to be treated. With courtesy, respect and as equals, no matter what their position may be. Treat every meeting as an exercise in relationship building – look people in the eye, shake their hand, remember their name and always give a cheerful hello as you pass them by. Make a conscious effort to engage and retain relationships with everyone you come across in your professional life. When the time comes, you may be well rewarded when you need them most, and if you are a positive, professional and genuine person, you will have a much better chance of achieving your desired outcomes. Call it ‘active networking’ if you will, just remember always to be meeting and expanding your personal database of colleagues and building on personal, professional relationships. You never know when you may need someone else’s assistance, and a strong network is a powerful tool.
So remember the analogy of the plow guy – in everything you do. Keep your relationships positive – with your recruiters, your HR representatives, your colleagues, and your peers. It never hurts to ‘know someone’ when the time comes around that you require assistance outside of your normal circles. By maintaining healthy relationships even with those you do not interact with regularly, you build a network of resources that are available when you really need them.