Stand Together

One of the oddest things I note in people's job searches – and indeed their careers and related efforts – is how many people are convince they can and should (and will) do it on their own.

It's an odd conceit, really, that is probably some cultural image – relating back to the lone hero, the fronteirsman, etc. who doesn't need anyone but themselves and makes it despite the odds, weather, attacks by hostile forces, plot contrivances, etc.

I pretty much regard this as a bunch of B.S. anyway.  You're better off cooperating with people than being some Lone Figure against The Odds.

On a job search?  Ask for help, ask for advice.  Team up with people and see what you can get done.  You'll do far better than trying to do it on your own.

In fact, there are networking groups and meetings that just consist of unemployed people.  That may strike some as counter intuitive, but it seems like a good idea to me – people share what's working, what doesn't work, and when someone gets a job they can share information and advice.  As long as it doesn't break down into continual co-miseration, it's a great idea.

Once you get a job – or if you have one – don't leave your career up to yourself anyway.  Ask people for advice.  Try things out.  Talk to teachers, co-workers, and friends to get ideas or review ideas you have.  Don't try and do it yourself when you have a job – you're going to miss things and get less done.

Don't by the myth that jobs and careers are achieved by individual effort alone.  We constantly hear how networking helps jobs and careers in business books and articles, which is true, but it's even more than that.  Your job and career is enhanced by others, strengthened by their input – and more resistant with their help.

If you're a fan, you probably have a better network than you know.  Rely on it – and when the time comes, let others rely on you.

– Steven Savage